The Best Way to Get Fit

African American Women Health & Fitness


Nine Reasons to Build Muscle and Gain Strength 
by Harold Irby, Personal Trainer | Health and Fitness | Monday, August 4, 2014

Talk to 10 people and you'll get 10 different opinions on the best way to get fit. 

One will tell you to attend an aerobics class. Another will swear by jogging. Yet another will tell you that dance and biking worked for them. 

The truth is that there's really only one effective way to get fit. 

Before I get into the details, it's important that we agree on the definition of 'fit'. Too often skinny is mistaken for fit, and that's not what you should strive for. 

When someone is skinny, but has very little muscle tissue, they aren't truly fit. 
 

Why skinny doesn't equal fit:

•Although you won't see a lot of fat on their bodies, their body fat percentage will actually be higher than ideal. In other words, if muscle percentage is low then fat percentage will be higher.

Their resting metabolism will be low, since little muscle is present to burn calories at rest.

Their body won't be functionally strong, which will lead to injuries and frustrations.

So how does one get truly fit?...It's ths simple: Strength Training. 

Strength training is when resistance is used to challenge your muscles in order to gain strength and endurance. You could do this with traditional weights, exercise bands, medicine balls, cable machines, sandbags, kettle bells or even just using your own body weight. 

Regular strength training has the following side effects...

Strength and muscle tone

Cardiovascular capacity

Speed, Agility and Flexibility

Resistance to injury and disease

If that's not enough to convince you that strength training is the only way to truly become fit, then read on... 



Top 9 Reasons To Strength Train

1) To Build Muscle and Gain Strength: Don't worry, ladies. This does NOT mean that you're going to ‘bulk up' or look masculine. What will happen is that your arms, tummy and legs will become tighter, leaner and more defined. 

2) To Lose Fat: When it comes to losing size, all that you want to see disappear is fat, not muscle. Strength training ensures that you maintain and grow those muscles and only lose fat. 



3) To Build Strong Bones: The older we get, the more important our bone density is. A good strength training program is one of your best defenses when it comes to osteoporosis. 



4) To Alleviate Anxiety, Stress and Depression: Sure there are plenty of pills out there that claim to provide these benefits, but you and I both know that strength training is more wholesome and effective. Besides, who really wants pharmaceutical side effects? 



5) To Sleep Better: Here's another pill you can stop taking once you start strength training. Study after study has proven that strength training improves sleep. 



6) To Improve Chronic Back Pain: If you're one of the millions across the globe who suffer from back pain then you'll love the benefit of lowered pain. 


7) To Improve Insulin Sensitivity: Today diabetes is a huge threat. Minimize your risk by improving insulin sensitivity through regular, challenging strength training. 



8) To Improve Good to Bad Cholesterol Ratio: Here is yet another pill that you could potentially stop taking while on a strength training routine. Blood pressure and heart health are of utmost concern, so why not give yourself the advantage of a strength training routine? 



9) To Raise your Metabolism: This helps to reduce body fat and to keep that body fat off, even on the days that you aren't able to exercise. Pretty awesome, right? 

A solid strength training routine will tone your legs, lift your buns, strengthen your core, and will result in inches and pounds lost. 



So now are you ready to begin transforming your body through strength training? – Well, let's get started!

Harold Irby is a certified personal fitness trainer and Mr. Michigan body building champion with over 20 years of experience in weight training, body building, sport specific training and strength conditioning. Harold has worked with many professional, college and high school athletes, as well as celebrities and business professionals seeking a healthy and fit lifestyle through his personal training and fitness center Xtreme Advantage.  

Photo credit: ©iStock/iofoto

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