Pumping iron has many benefits when it comes to weight loss. While the exercise activities outlined in 'Exercise Basics' are great fat burners, weight training is a great muscle toner and muscle builder.
Weight training has several benefits:
- It burns plenty of kilojoules and helps you lose weight.
- It's an excellent way to maintain bone density which protects trainers from conditions such as Osteoporosis in later life.
- It helps keep your muscles and joints strong and supple, which keeps you looking and feeling young.
- Muscle actually burns kilojoules even when at rest, so the more muscle you can build, the more kilojoules you burn, even if you're just sitting around.
- Muscle is what gives our bodies that pleasing toned shape, so the more muscle you have (within reason!) the better you look.
Unfortunately, unlike walking, weight training usually requires some types of equipment. In its most simple form, a basic set of barbells and dumbbells can be used at home. At the other end of the spectrum, joining a commercial gym or health club will usually offer a range of equipment and allow for a varied and challenging fitness program.
To gain benefits certainly doesn't mean you need to train like a competitive weight lifter. Aim for moderate weight training 2-3 times a week. Seek the guidance of a professional instructor if you are new to this type of activity. The ideal approach is to combine an aerobic activity like walking, with a resistance program such as weight training.