Throughout the summer many people head outdoors, where they spend time swimming, playing sports, and going for long walks on the beach. Whether it’s on vacation or on weekend getaways with the kids, people are generally much more active during the summer months, which is good for both the heart and spirit.
While all of these activities are fun and good for you, they just can't compete with the many benefits of strength training. It makes sense that during the summer months people want to be outdoors for exercise, but don't forget to include resistance training. Here are five reasons why you should train with weights as part of your routine throughout the summer.
1. Muscle Burns Fat, Even While Resting
While cardio burns calories, a body’s metabolism has a large role in how food is converted to energy. Those who are larger or have a higher degree of muscle mass burn calories even when they’re at rest. As a person ages, metabolism naturally slows down, leading to gradual weight gain. Muscle is a great way to counterbalance the body’s natural slowdown and the earlier a person starts, the easier it will be to maintain that muscle over time.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Long duration cardio does NOT increase
metabolism; in fact, it can LOWER it!
2. Building Muscle Staves Off Bone Loss
As a person grows older, bone loss is inevitable, especially for women after menopause. This can lead bones to break more easily, feelings of fatigue and weakness, and reduced tolerance to physical activity. Weight-bearing exercises strengthen bones, helping minimize natural bone loss and reducing the risk of injury. When a person lifts weights, it also builds strength and balance, which can help prevent falls.
3. Muscle Toning Improves Balance
Balance has benefits beyond preventing injury. It comes into play no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s carrying groceries or climbing a set of stairs. Through strength training, you can more easily accomplish these tasks even as you get older. Muscle toning also improves endurance during athletic activities, which will help you during those games of beach volleyball.
4. Prevent Diseases
Strength training has been shown to provide a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. By continuing your strength training year round, you’ll continue to reap the rewards of the hard work you put in during the cold winter months. A Tufts University study even found that participants in a strength training program were able to see a marked reduction in arthritis pain. In fact, the study found that the end result was better than that received from medications. Strength training can also improve a person’s mental health, reducing depression and improving sleep quality.
5. You'll Look Better
As important as all of the other benefits are, one of the biggest benefits to continue strength training in the summer is also the most superficial. You work hard all winter and spring to look great, so why slack off during the summer months? As the weather heats up, you’ll likely be wearing shorts, short-sleeved and sleeveless tops, and bathing suits. Continued time at the gym means your muscles will stay toned so that you can look great as you reveal more of your body than you have all year. You’ll impress friends and family at gatherings with your washboard abs and toned thighs and, as much as we don’t like to admit it, that’s what it’s all about.
If you don't have a regular fitness schedule, then the summer might be a great time to start one. If you have been training on a regular basis, be honest, is your workout helping you make gains? Is your nutrition on point as well? Perhaps you could benefit from working with a personal trainer? Well, I just happen to know a really good one! (wink)
By maintaining your regular fitness schedule, you’ll be able to continue to meet your fitness goals while getting in top shape for all of the exciting summer activities ahead.
To your best health,
Owner/Body Basics Fitness
5 Powder Horn Drive
Warren, NJ 07059