Don't skip the weights!

Strength training can be your secret weapon for dropping pounds.

Posted May 26, 2015

If you’ve made a commitment to head back to the gym to finish getting in shape for summer, don’t limit your focus to just the treadmill or other cardiovascular equipment. Strength training can be your secret weapon in the fight to burn fat, says a wide range of experts.

Many people look to cardio training as the way to burn fat and drop pounds. In the process, however, they skip the weights. But they do so at the risk of missing out on a big piece of the puzzle. Strength training, whether accomplished with free weights or machines, can add muscle to your body, which aids fat burning and weight loss.

Muscle melts fat

Muscle tissue is partly responsible for the number of calories burned at rest (the basal metabolic rate, or BMR), notes the American Council on Exercise (ACE). As muscle mass increases, BMR increases, making it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.

Also, a recent study by ACE found that kettlebell exercises can burn up to 20 calories a minute, or the equivalent of running at a six-minute mile pace.

Succeed with an integrated workout

So it’s clear that aerobic exercise is great way to drop pounds, but it’s not the only way. Maximize your results with an integrated workout that incorporates both cardiovascular activity and strength training.

And remember that strength training delivers benefits beyond weight loss. Research continues to demonstrate that it increases both muscle and bone strength, and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

A safe strength training regimen, combined with cardiovascular and flexibility training, can be an excellent total fitness program. As always, consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

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The information written about in this blog is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek care from a medical professional when you have a health concern.