While cardiovascular exercise is a great way to burn fat, adding a little strength training to your workouts will earn you extra calories every day. You'll even be burning extra calories while you're sleeping or sitting on the couch. Aerobic exercise may burn a few hundred extra calories for dinner, but for every additional pound of muscle you gain, your body burns around 50 extra calories every day of the week.
Research has shown that regular resistance training can increase your Basal Metabolic Rate by up to 15%. So for someone burning 2000 calories per day, that's a potential 300 extra calories, more than a Mars bar, burned every single day.
"I'm not getting any younger, shouldn't I just stick to low resistance exercise to avoid injury?" No - in fact building a little extra muscle can actually reduce the risk of injury.
Strong muscles, tendons and ligaments are much more capable of withstanding stress, and the improved flexibility gained by strength training also reduces the likelihood of pulled muscles and back pain. Weight training is an excellent way of combating several symptoms we all face as we get a little older. Resistance exercise can reduce bone deterioration and build bone mass, preventing osteoporosis.
Working your muscles can also inhibit the affects of sarcopenia, the age related loss of muscle mass, strength and function. After the age of thirty there is a loss of 3-5% of muscle mass per decade, making day to day tasks gradually harder to perform and slowing down metabolism - increasing the risk of weight gain.
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