Why Weight Training Matters

It’s not just for good looks.

Your heart needs oxygen, so you do aerobics and cardio. But you should also add in some weight training to your routine. No, lifting weights isn’t just a way to beef up your pecs and make your thighs harder than granite (though weight lifting is a great way to do both). Weight training also gives your body and your brain some other perks that are equally as gratifying.

Here are a few of the reasons you need to spend some time with weights in your hands.

Reason #1: It Keeps You Balanced

Obviously, you need plenty of cardio to keep your body going strong. But to keep it going its strongest all the time, you’ll need to lift weights. You don’t have to bench 450 pounds and squat 2 tons. You just need to add weights to your routine on a regular basis. This will ensure your body and brain are well balanced and able to perform at their peak at all times.

Reason #2: It Fights Osteoporosis

At the same time lifting weights helps your muscles grow denser, it does the same for your bones. Instead of waiting for a fracture to cause you to realize your need for weight training, get started with the weights today. Grab a small dumbbell and start pumping away while you sit in your living room chair or walk around the neighborhood.

Reason #3: It Burns More Fat

In order to trim off extra fat from your body, you’ll need to get sweating with some good cardiovascular exercises. But to make your body burn more calories during your cardio and when you’re going about your regular daily routine, you’ll need to add some muscle weight to your body. The best way to do this? Lift weights.

Reason #4: It Helps You Sleep

Nearly everything you do requires an adequate amount of sleep. From mowing the lawn to writing a poem to answering the telephone to balancing your checkbook, if you don’t get enough shuteye, you won’t be able to complete these tasks as well as your well-rested peers. A great way to increase your likelihood to get a good night of sleep is to lift weights. So head to the weight-lifting section of the gym, do your thing, and get ready to hit the hay.

Reason #5: Your Body Does What It Should

More than likely, you’ve never had to chop wood with an axe or walk to school, and you can’t remember the last time you opted for stairs over the elevator. While life is more convenient than it was during the good old days, new technologies have resulted in you putting fewer demands on your muscles. Weight training allows your muscles to do what they were created for – moving and working.

Reason #6: Go Longer, Stronger

Feel worn out at the end of the day? Then you must not be lifting weights. Getting regular weight training helps you grow your stamina so you can go strong all day, no matter what you come up against. In addition to going longer, lifting weights helps you go stronger as well.

Use Your Body

Though weight training is usually thought of as requiring hard, metal plates, it doesn’t always. Actually, you carry around all the weights necessary to keep your body in pretty good shape.

If you can’t make it to the gym and don’t have room to keep a weight set at your house, you can perform exercises that pit you against your body weight. How? By performing some of the most basic exercises in your repertoire. Push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, sit-ups, and leg squats all force you to work against your body weight and give you many of the same results of using barbells, dumbbells, and strength resistance machines.

Jan. 15 Newsletter

Your Fast-Track to a Flat Tummy & Tight Abs
The New Year is still young, and if you’ve decided to make this your year for losing the weight and tightening your abs, you’re in luck.

Getting a flat midsection really boils down to two things: 1) Getting rid of the fatty layer that is covering your abdominal muscles; and 2) Tightening and toning your abdominal muscles.

The following 7 Tight Abs Tips are your Fast-Track ticket to getting a flat, attractive midsection this year.

Tight Abs Tip #1: Perform challenging strength training abdominal exercises at least three times each week. Your abs are like any other muscle in your body—they need to be consistently challenged in order to become stronger and tighter.

Tight Abs Tip #2:
Stop eating junk. Processed foods, refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup do NOT belong in your diet if, especially if you want tight abs. Cutting these items from your diet will allow your body to maintain stable blood sugar levels, alleviating your body’s need to store excess sugar away in fat cells.

The fat stores created by excess sugar intake most often accumulate around your waist, covering up your abdominal muscles. Cut these items from your diet and replace them with real whole foods such as lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fruits.

Tight Abs Tip #3:
Stop doing long and slow cardio workouts. Instead, use HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for your cardio workouts. HIIT training uses intense bursts of cardio peppered throughout your workout. This is a sure-fire way to rev up your metabolism and to get your fat stores to shrink.

Tight Abs Tip #4: Use resistance with your abdominal exercises. Crunches are great, but your body quickly becomes accustomed to the motion, rendering it less effective. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell at your chest as you perform your crunches—this will force your abs to work harder, and will achieve better results.

Tight Abs Tip #5: Don’t be fooled. The market is flooded with ‘lose weight’ products and products that claim to flatten your stomach. Never waste your time or money on:

  1. So-called packaged health food that comes with weight loss claims. If it’s processed in a package with a bunch of chemical additives then it will not help you achieve flat abs.
  2. Abdominal exercise gimmicks as sold on late night infomercials – all you really need is your own body weight, an exercise ball and dumbbells or a medicine ball.
  3. So-called weight loss supplements. The magic pill for flat abs doesn’t exist, so you’d be wasting your health and money on a bogus product.

Tight Abs Tip #6: Target your lower abs. It’s easy to neglect the lower abs, but they are an important part of the equation. Incorporate the V-Up into your exercise routine:

Starting Position: Sit on the edge of an exercise bench; lean back to a 45 degree angle. Extend your legs out until they are level with the floor.

Movement:
Exhale and bring your knees and upper body close together, while contracting your abdominals. Inhale as you slowly release your legs, returning them to the starting position.

Tight Abs Tips #7: Challenge your core often. Don’t limit your abdominal exercise to the gym, incorporate core strengthening during daily life and throughout each workout. A strong core is the foundation for flat, tight abs.

There you have it! Seven tips that, when diligently applied, will help you shed the fat and tighten your abs.

But, keep in mind that your results will be seriously hindered if you do the same exercise routine over and over. Your abs need a progressive challenge in order to transform. This means new exercises, different resistance and increased challenge.

Call or email today to get started on a program that will challenge you, motivate you and transform your body.

Availability is limited — act now and achieve a slimmer you once and for all this year.

Instant Ab Flattener

How would you like to improve the look of your stomach in a matter of seconds? Simple. Don’t slouch. When you slouch, with shoulders rounded forward, your stomach pooches out. Instead, push your shoulders back, chest up, and pull your abdominals in. And just like that you look slimmer, and by keeping your abs pulled in you are strengthening your core.

Moroccan Stew

This stew is perfect for a cold winter day. It is packed with antioxidant-rich vegetables and fragrant spices. Serve this stew over a scoop of cooked quinoa or whole grain brown rice. Yield: 6 servings

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons water or vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 large size yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large size red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 medium size sweet potatoes or garnet or jewel yams, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons water in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, peppers and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. If the water begins to evaporate, add a little more.
  2. Stir in the agave nectar, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, ginger and saffron and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sweet potatoes, and stir to coat. Stir in tomatoes, remaining 1 1/2 cups water and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  3. Simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then serve over quinoa or brown rice.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 141 calories, 1g fat, 29g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and 6g protein.

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