Linking up today with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for Friday Five.
For the first time in a while, I've been lifting weights pretty consistently over the past year. I started the New Rules of Lifting for Women program in December 2014, and, while I've taken some breaks - during and in between phases - I've made it to halfway through phase 6 (of 7)! That's 58 strength workouts over the past 13 months - ok, I was hoping it'd average to more like 2 per week before I added it up, but I suppose for me an average of once per week is still pretty decent. I've done various DVD and other workouts off and on for years, but this is the first time I've stuck with a program this consistently.
I've also been bugging my mom to do some strength training. She's never been a person into sports or athleticism, but as she gets older, it's more important to maintain, or at least minimize loss of, what muscle mass she does. I've been trying to incentivize her by pointing out that eventually (hopefully) she'll have a grandkid that she'll need to be capable of picking up.
But really everyone should be lifting weights. Why?
1. Weight lifting will help your other sports, like running or triathlon. It will enhance your leg and core strength, improving your endurance in ways that running alone can't build.
2. It will also prevent injuries, by building balanced muscles, which helps you keep good form and your joints stable.
3. If you won't do it for your sport, lift weights for your weight. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so having more muscle mass increases the calories you burn throughout the day (even though while exercising, lifting will generally burn fewer calories than cardio).
4. By the time you're in your 30s, your muscle mass will start declining if you don't do something to prevent it. No one wants to be that hunched over, frail, old lady! It's not an inherent part of aging, it's an inherent part of not taking care of yourself. Take care of your body by deliberately building that muscle mass instead.
5. It makes you a bad ass. Because of strength training, I can life my entire body in a chin-up! (Ok, just once, but still.). I think that's pretty impressive! I know a lot of people (women, in particular) who cannot do that, who cannot even fathom doing that. But when you think about it, just being able to lift your own body weight like that, seems like a pretty basic thing, something you should be able to do. Don't lose that!