With the launch of our new weight loss program we running a blog series featuring the 7 weight loss hacks you aren’t using. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date and find the weight loss hacks that you are not using to lose weight!
So, without further ado, this is the second weight loss hack you aren’t using:
Most of us were indoctrinated into an exercise world that was certain that if you wanted to lose weight the best thing to do was to get on the treadmill, stair stepper, eliptical, or running trail, and grind out hours of cardio. I have been there, and chances are you have too.
The truth is that we humans are very efficient runners, so running does not necessarily have the greatest metabolism boost in the wide world of exercise. What training method holds the metabolism boosting title you ask? That distinction belongs to weight bearing exercises.
If you are not already doing weight bearing exercise then chances are you are saying, “But I want to be lean, not bulky” or, “I am going for weight loss! I don’t want to gain muscle!”.
I can understand this fear but here is the deal. Adding lean muscle mass to your body means that you will be burning more fat at rest. Muscle is living and active tissue meaning that it requires an energy supply to merely exist.
Once more, strength training recruits more muscle fibers. By asking your body to perform a feat of strength (and this doesn’t mean it has to be extremely heavy) you will recruit more muscle fiber, all of which require energy to perform. Cardio by comparison requires comparatively less muscle recruitment.
So there you have it. Weight bearing activity not only recruits muscle fibers during the activity itself but adding lean muscle mass means you will be burning more calories at rest.
And no, unless you are performing a strict bodybuilding regimen you are unlikely to bulk very easily. Your body is efficient and in most cases it will not add excess mass unless you really work at demanding it.
All of this is not to say that you should not being doing cardio. The ideal training regime would include both strength training and aerobic exercises. My goal here is to stress the importance of weight bearing activity, especially as it pertains to weight loss.
Weight loss is not where the benefits end. Added strength helps slow the aging process by keeping you able to perform daily activities and the ability to do physical tasks throughout your life.
Weight bearing activity also helps to maintain bone density. As we have touched on, your body adapts to stressors. Astronauts lose bone density because they are not bearing weight in a zero-gravity environment. Conversely, adding the stress of weight bearing activity tells your body that bone density will be necessary for daily function.
Increased strength also aids in injury mitigation. As your muscles increase in strength so do your tendons and ligaments and this will mean you will have as decreased risk of injury. With this sense of confidence everything can seem more doable. Increased strength equals improved self-confidence and quality of life.
If tackling weight loss from all aspects of your life and learning how to manage a healthy weight is something you want then checkout our new weight loss program, Weight Loss Evolved!