I have been on a little journey the past two years with my exercise. After reading a ton of healthy living blogs I was inspired to start running back in 2011, and I managed to keep that up until last year when running and I broke up. Running led me to other exercises, mostly Jillian Michaels and her 30 day shred (a great way to start doing weights and different circuit moves if you are a total beginner), and this led to Shaun T and then here we are. My body has become so much stronger and I feel amazing for all that I have accomplished, but lately there was one more thing I wanted to get a hold of.
Like most women, I feel totally put off by weights. They make me think of over-muscled Arnold types and I have always been afraid that they would bulk me up too much. After reading blogs like fitnessista.com where weights are a normal part of her workout, I felt like it was time to give them a go.
Incorporating weights into your workout is important for several reasons.
– Boredom! You can’t do the same cardio moves every time you hit up the gym. Variation is so important to all-over health and fitness. These will stop having such a great affect on your body if you are doing them all the time, not to mention the idea of working out is going to become something you dread the more repetitive and boring it gets! Add some weights in to challenge and motivate you.
– It’s an all-over thing. If you do weights with proper form (and please get someone at your gym who is qualified to show you), you will notice it in your core as well as upper-body. As someone who is always wanting to tone up my stomach area I love that working on my arms is simultaneously strengthening up other areas of my body.
– Burn more fat. I was always under the impression that weights just bulked up areas, but the benefits go so much deeper. Heavy lifting speeds up your metabolism and leaves you burning fat throughout the day (source).
– They’re good for your heart, bones and mind! Lifting weights has been proven to reduce heart disease related factors and help strengthen your bones. Not to mention those who lift report sleeping much better at night (source).
If that isn’t enough motivation, then I don’t know what is!
Since adding in three 20minute weight session to my routine each week I have really noticed a change. I feel much stronger, and have a little muscle! One thing to keep in mind if that the more weight you add, the more you will bulk up. So if you just want to lengthen and tone those arms then don’t start piling on extra kilos every few weeks. Just keep the workouts challenging enough but do-able.
And after a heavy workout I have been loving this tea. It tastes like blackberry and has all sorts of goodies for muscles like turmeric (good for inflammation), and I do think it helps sooth my body after putting it through everything.