Strength training

Lose weight while building strength

JGH News, Spring 2014 

Ever notice how our first thought is “cardio” when we’re trying to lose weight? “Okay, I’ll take more cake, but that means 10 extra minutes of cardio tomorrow!” It’s our first impuse, but should it be?

Consider strength training, which is also a good strategy for weight loss. And don’t fall for the common misconception that it’ll make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. In bodybuilding, the body is developed through diet and exercise with the goal of competing. Strength training, on the other hand, combines weights with exercise to build lean muscle tissue. In fact, strength training benefits people of all ages, as long as it’s performed safely and is tailored to one’s age and fitness level.

According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, adults should perform strength training exercises at least twice a week. That’s because it…

  • helps prevent and manage chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, and helps lower blood sugar
  • increases metabolism (to help with weight loss), lean muscle tissue, balance and overall energy
  • strengthens bones

Lucy Pereira, a kinesiologist in the Herzl CRIU Walk-In Centre at the JGH, is an especially firm believer in interval training, which incorporates strength training and cardiovascular exercises, and gives you the benefits of both. So the next time you opt for a second helping, consider the alternatives to work it off.

More information on interval training is available from the  Heart & Stroke Foundation;  type “interval training” in the Search field. View the  Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, mouse over the Guidelines tab and click on “Get the Guidelines”.

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