Why Weight Lifting Should Be A Part Of Your Weekly Routine

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No matter how old you are, weight lifting should be a large part of your exercise program, according to the American College of Sports. A simple strength training program is easy to fit into your weekly schedule, and can help you stay thin while reducing the risk of bone loss later in life.

Building muscles by lifting weights does more than make you look and feel better. Stronger muscles mean you’ll have more energy. Plus, your body burns more calories even at rest when your muscles are stronger. The changes in your metabolism may allow you to lose weight even without making any changes to your diet.

Weight training has also been shown to increase your bone density more than other fitness activities. Since many women (and some men) are at risk of osteoporosis, it is important to build strong bones when you’re younger, but age shouldn’t stop you from starting an exercise program. Studies have shown that older women may actually reverse bone loss by lifting light weights.

Most fitness experts suggest you vary your routines so each muscle group will have an opportunity to rest between exercise sessions. Your muscles actually grow during this time of rest, so varying the routine will give you the best opportunity for success with your program. A good schedule has you lifting weights for upper body and chest muscles on day one, aerobics on day two, weightlifting for leg muscles on day three, aerobics on day four, back and shoulder muscles on day five, aerobics on day six, and complete rest on day seven. This allows most of your muscles to rest one complete week before their next workout.

Since lifting dumbbells will not give your abdominal muscles a good workout, you’ll want to add stomach crunches to your routine, either on aerobic days or before your strength building exercises.

You’ll also need to remember to stretch, both before and after each of your weight-lifting workouts. You should stretch at the end of a weight-lifting workout because it helps elongate and relax your muscles.

Warm-up exercises after your stretches will also help you get the most from your routine. If you exercise at home, you can warm up by walking or riding a bicycle. If you work out at a gym then just use a stationary bike or walk on the treadmill for 5 - 10 minutes.

If this all sounds daunting because you haven’t been getting much exercise lately, you may need some help to get motivated. Find someone to lift weights with, so you can give each other encouragement. If all your friends are too busy or lazy to join in, put on some upbeat, enjoyable music.

It also helps to stick with an exercise program if you pay attention to your body as you move around.

-Do you notice that lifting the dog food bag is much harder than it used to be?
-Do you get winded easily walking upstairs?
-Do other people your same age seem to have more energy and vitality than you do?

If so, talk to your doctor about your concerns. If you get a clean bill of health, you’ll know the cure for your lack of fitness and energy is simple – put yourself on a regular schedule of exercise that includes easy aerobic exercise and a simple weight lifting routine. You’ll soon see improvement in the way you look and feel, and that will help you look forward to your daily exercise.

About the Author:

Jonni Good is the co-author of "Weight Lifting for Absolute Beginners," the eBook that helps you get started with an easy weight lifting program at home using inexpensive weight lifting equipment. Find more about the benefits of weight lifting at http://www.weight-lifting-exercise.com

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