Image via kaboompics.com
In the same way that I love trying out new restaurants around the city, I love “sampling” different types of workouts during the week. In a large city like Chicago, there are so many great ways to exercise, why choose only one?! One class that I do find myself going back to almost weekly however, is the Fit60 Sculpt class at Yoga Six. Throughout the hour long class, you squat, jump, lift weights, plank, and more. Plus, the fast pace and fun music make the hour fly by as you work up a sweat in the warm studio.
Before we talk about the benefits, let me clarify that strength training (ie. resistance training) involves any exercise where you move against resistance to work your muscles. Resistance can be created by your own body weight (like in a push up), dumbbells, or weight machines at the gym. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you try incorporating strength training exercises into your routine 2-3 days/week to see the most benefit. Of course, always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
- Tone your whole body. Cardio (ie. aerobic exercise) can do great things for keeping your heart strong, but what about the rest of your muscles? Strength training is important for gaining those toned muscles we all want when bikini season rolls around. This type of exercise is much more effective at increasing your lean body mass than cardio so make sure to add some into your routine!
- Build stronger bones. Numerous studies have found that when older adults incorporate strength training into their exercise routine they can strengthen their bones. This is especially important for women who are at higher risk for losing bone density after menopause. Help maintain healthy bones by adding strength training to your routine now and prevent some of that bone density loss as you age.
- Meet your weight loss goals. Weight loss with strength training isn’t a guarantee, but when combined with a healthy diet it can help you better reach your weight loss goals. Strength training helps you build muscle which can increase your basal metabolism. The more lean body mass or muscle you have, the more calories you are burning, even when you are at rest!
- Lower your risk of chronic disease. Research found that regularly doing some strength training exercises a couple days a week helped improve blood sugar control and blood pressure. Keep up a regular strength training routine and you will be on the right track to decrease your risk of diabetes and hypertension later in life.
- It’s FUN! If your workouts usually consist of zoning out on the elliptical or a spin class, break out of your comfort zone and try a bootcamp style class. The Yoga Six Fit60 Sculpt class is one of my favorites because they are always so fast paced and fun! If you are someone who likes a challenge, it is easy to track progress with strength training as you try to increase the heaviness of the weights you lift as you keep going back to class or repeating that strength workout – something I find both satisfying and kind of fun as well.
Thanks to Yoga Six for sponsoring this post! If you are looking for a fun new way to incorporate a strength training class into your routine, you should definitely check out their Fit60 Sculpt class.