The Value of Weight Training

Fitness professionals know that weight training is as crucial to good physical health as aerobic exercise and balanced diets.

By FamilyTime

 If images of huge, muscled body builders come to mind when you hear the term "weight training," it's time to revise your thinking. Today's weight trainers are young and old, male and female, and include all body types.

Who Should Train?
If you exercise regularly and eat sensibly, you may not think you need to add weight training to your regimen. But it can only help.

If you are beginning a diet and exercise program, you may be concentrating on aerobic exercise only. But it's important to include weight training, too.

If you run around after small children, like to play sports as a hobby, are aging more rapidly than you wish, or feel sluggish and tired much of the time, you should weight train.

In other words, just about everyone should integrate weight training into their exercise routine. Before beginning this or any exercise program, check with your doctor.

What Are the Benefits?
Weight training has many benefits and very few drawbacks. Among the most significant benefits are:

· It aids in weight loss.
· It increases your metabolism.
· It gives you energy.
· It strengthens bones.
· It decreases the chance of injury.
· It makes you look and feel better.

The only drawback to weight training is if it's improperly implemented. Overtraining can cause strained, sore muscles. It can also lead to injury.

Getting Started
As with all exercise routines, weight training should be approached sensibly. Choose a gym close to your home or office, so that it's easy to get to it. If you decide to train at home, buy good weights and set aside a place to work out.

Ask a professional trainer or someone who works at the gym to show you how to use the weight machines correctly. Start slowly with one or two repetitions, and build up to more.

Never begin lifting before warming up.

Lift slowly and with controlled movements. Lift to the point of muscle fatigue.

Incorporate weight training into your normal aerobic exercise routine. Warm up on a bicycle or treadmill for at least 10 minutes (or longer) and then use the weights.

The Importance of Stretching
When muscles are warm and flexible, stretch them. Stretching reduces the chance of injury, improves posture, and relaxes the muscles.

Stretch right after lifting, or between reps. Stretch the muscles you have just worked.

Keep the Routine Interesting
The minute you feel bored or the weight levels are not challenging, change your routine. Concentrate on different muscles, change the order of the workout, or increase your lifting weight.

For interest and success, interval train: ride the bike or work on the Stairmaster for 10 minutes, switch to a weight machine or free weights for two or three reps, and then return to the bike. Continue until you have worked all the muscle groups scheduled for that day.

Don't Give Up!
Although you may not get the results you want quickly, keep going. If you train regularly and sensibly, you will soon feel and look better than ever.

If you stop training for a few weeks or months, don't be discouraged. Start again! Your muscles will thank you.