FOR YEARS I was a runner. I ran 5K, 10K, half-marathons and marathons. Running made me feel strong mentally and physically, but as I got older and smarter, I realized my body wasn’t made for running. I kept getting injured and wasn’t seeing my body composition change. In fact, running actually started working against me.
I wanted to know why, so I started on a new journey, one that that led me down the path to becoming a fitness and Pilates instructor, certified personal trainer, power athlete and the creator of innovative strength programs.
I didn’t give up running completely, but instead embraced the power of strength training, changing the way my body felt and looked.
It’s surprising to me that a lot of women run because they want to lose weight. Running is one of the worst things you can do to your body when you’re carrying extra weight. But who am I to argue with millions of women running and losing weight? Heck, Oprah did it! Through running, women can lose weight within the first three to four months and gain lean muscle, but women can plateau, stop losing weight, never gain more lean muscle, never change their body composition, may get injured and, in many cases, gain back the weight they lost.
Strength training can improve a woman’s running and keep them injury free. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about strength training. I’m shocked that many women are still hesitant about implementing a strength program into their workouts.
I’ll let you in on a secret: by incorporating strength training into your weekly workout routine you will burn more calories, gain lean muscle, improve posture and change body composition. You will become stronger and healthier, prevent injuries, combat age-related health concerns, lower blood pressure, decrease arthritis pain and depressive symptoms, improve static and dynamic balance, build confidence and, as an added bonus, you get an amazing endorphin rush.
- …will not make you bulky. It takes a program lifting heavier weights and a high-calorie diet to build and sustain larger lean muscles. The right program of high volume and lighter weights will create a strong, toned, leaner body.
- …changes body composition, cardiovascular training does not. Muscle and fat are two different types of tissue, muscle never degenerates into fat. As you gain muscle your body will become leaner and more toned.
- …can combat age-related concerns such as osteoporosis, where bone mineral density is reduced and sarcopenia, the degenerative loss of muscle mass.
- …can help prevent sarcopenia and osteoporosis if implemented in one’s early teens.
- …provides muscle support for bones and joints, improves posture and balance, plus burns fat more efficiently.
START BUILDING MUSCLE NOW!
- Consult with a trainer to develop a program that is specific to your needs and assures you learn proper technique. Once you are confident and have been educated on proper technique, the sky’s the limit.
- Work out at home using resistance bands and body weight or visit your local gym to incorporate strength machines into your workouts. Machines keep our bodies in correct position to prevent injury.
- If you like social interaction to keep you motivated, you may want to participate in a strength class, Pilates, yoga or others offered at your gym.