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Regular Strength & Resistance Training- The Key to Feeling Your Best and Keeping Your Metabolism

Point to Ponder:

Do you strength train at least twice per week?

Having been a runner most of my life, it is only in the last 10 or so years that I have actively and regularly strength trained with weights and bodyweight. I have always been an active lake skier, which requires pulling strength, but besides that I did not regularly strength train.

While on vacation several years ago and sipping on my second vodka tonic, it occurred to be that since regularly strength training my vacations have become much more pleasant and relaxing. Why? Because I'm not high-tailing-it out of bed to fit my run in.

For many years — mainly in my 30’s and 40’s — I felt the need to get up early on vacation and run, pounding my feet down the concrete path before I could enjoy my day. This would make me feel “better” about myself, but many times it would interrupt time that should have been spent enjoying the morning on the beach, the local activities, or the people I was with.

On most of my early travel mornings I remember getting up for a 5 a.m. to run so that I could offset the day of sitting. Needless to say, doing that for several decades became very boring and also was bad for my joints — mainly my knees — because I was not strengthening the muscles around my joints and knees.

What I've come to recognize and appreciate about regular strength and resistance is that due to the muscle mass that is built, my RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) has significantly increased and the result is that I am burning fat and calories while sitting on an airplane, the beach, a boat, etc. And despite being in my fifties, I am burning more calories and fat now than I ever did in my 30’s, 40’s and even my 20’s--when my main mode of exercise was running. So, not only does resistance training increase lean muscle mass which burns more calories, but as your muscle mass increases your % body fat simultaneously decreases.

Check out this great research:

  • “Strength training, in general, is great for the body. It is great for the bones and overall athleticism. Everything we do in life involves having to pull or lift things. So, not just for body strength, it is important to know how to move things around correctly. The monotonous pounding of running alond will not carry well into older age. It will keep the cardio-vascular system healthy, as long as diet is also healthy, but eventually, the body adapts and tightens. Shoulders round, knees start to hurt, hips ache, joints get sore. That’s not because of running–running is great–it is because you only ran. The entire body has to be attended to and preserved. It is important to run, but the other strength exercises that balance the body are equally crucial.” -David de Leon, “Lifting for Life,” Austin Fit Magazine

  • “People lose about 20 percent of their muscle mass between the ages of 40 and 60! By age 70, muscle mass decreases by 40 percent and strength by 30 percent. Loss of muscle mass is called Sarcopenia, which can result in diabetes, falls and injuries, muscle and joint pain, bone loss and decreased quality of life.” -Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports

  • Aging is not a reason to slow down athletically. As early as your teens and 20’s, maintaining a dedicated fitness routine is the way to stay at a healthy weight, be strong and sculpted and build stamina while creating a rock-solid foundation to prevent body breakdowns in later years. As we move into our 30’s and 40’s, resistance training becomes increasingly important since we naturally lose muscle mass as hormones shift and lifestyles become less “intense”. - M. Olson, Ph. D, FACSM, Professor of Exercise Science at Auburn University.

  • “In our 40’s, muscle strength and lean muscle mass begin to lessen. With age comes a loss of muscle elasticity and opportunity for injury. Most importantly, while metabolism naturally slows in women 40 and older, it is not the absolute. Despite what many think, our metabolism does not have to decrease with age if we exercise regularly and vigorously." - Reyna Franco, MS, RDN, CSSD.

  • Since metabolism is driven by lean muscle tissue, and physical activity, women over 40 who are physically active can have the same energy needs as a younger active individual. Challenging the body with high intensity bouts followed by a recovery period increases fat burning, lean muscle, and overall cardio vascular health. Why it works? New research reveals that high intensity interval training (HIIT) actually supercharges your body on a microscopic level enabling the mitochondria, your cells’ powerhouses, to burn fat more efficiently. Doing 10, 60 second sprints, each followed by 75 seconds of recovery, 3 times a week, appears to do more for your muscles than 10 straight hours of jogging.” - Journal of Physiology.

Therefore, if you are interested in feeling your best, have the ability to fully participate in life, looking better than ever and have a roaring metabolism, strength and resistance training over cardio alone is your ticket. And, burpees do count! Why? Because according to the Coast News in California, burpees do the following:

  • Burn serious calories—a few sets of burpees are more beneficial than 30 minutes of steady state cardio, and they burn 50% more FAT than striding along at a steady pace!

  • They are uncomfortable, but the results they produce are worth it.

  • They are a total body every muscle move—which means they activate more muscle than any other exercise, and make you stronger all over!!

  • They require no equipment and you can do them anywhere

  • They are a “gift” you give yourself to feel and look better, and in a world that wants fast results, burpees transform your body quickly as they challenge you to get out of your comfort zone

All in all, the great news is that during your summer travel, you can absolutely maintain your strength, fitness and keep your metabolism on fire. From push ups, sprints, planks, squats and lunges on the beach to burpess in your hotel room. Join us in our Burpee Challenge that starts tomorrow: 25 consecutive burpees each day for 25 days (June 25 - July 19). And, check out our Instagram page this week for Burpee Challenge contest (#summeriGniteburpeechallenge) and win a long or short sleeve "I Love iGnite Burpee" shirt (see one option above). These tops are perfect to throw over a tank or use for a swim suit cover up. However you want to wear it, works! Or, you can order yours on our online store too. Happy Strength Training, Happy Burpees and Ready, Set. Strong!! (Be sure to eat plenty of protein and drink lots of water too!)


Action Item:

Strength and resistance train at least twice per week and join us in our Burpee Challenge! 25 consecutive burpess for 25 days.


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