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Its no secret that I had tried many fitness regimes throughout my life and most of them were steeped in cardio based activities including zumba, high impact aerobics and training for a marathon! Although these made me feel great it wasn’t until I began training with Maxine at Potential, using various weights including my own bodyweight, that I began to notice a difference in my physique. I might not have lost weight on the scales but everyone was remarking on how good I looked and I felt so much more lean and firm. When I began my training to become a personal trainer I truly learnt the benefits of weight training.

Although of course cardio is a massively important part of your fitness requirements, the benefits from weight training are huge. From the aesthetic to the practical and of course the health benefits too!

A high-intensity weight training session can burn up to 500 calories per hour. Using weights is also scientifically proven to boost BMR (basal metabolic rate) for up to 24 hours post-workout. Your BMR is the amount of calories that your body needs to simply survive even if you were to do nothing all day. The more lean muscle we have the higher our resting metabolism is which means you’ll burn more calories at work, on the couch, and even while you’re sleeping.

Weight training can reverse the natural decline in your metabolism as you age which normally begins at around 30. It also massively helps to strengthen your bones as regular weight training increases bone density which reduces the risk of fractures and more commonly osteoporosis. Studies show that adults over the age 80 who do weight-bearing programs can significantly increase bone density. It’s certainly true to say you’re never too old. Osteoporosis is more common in women than in men, primarily due to the hormonal cycle and also because women don’t weight train like they should! Women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis and can lose up to 20% of their bone mass post menopause.

A stronger back, shoulders, neck, and core can help you stand up straight creating fantastic posture, plus you’ll look taller too. Better posture also preserves the spine and reduces lower back pain which is so common in today’s society with people sitting at desks all day long hunched over their computers for hours on end!

On a practical level having more muscle means you’ll be stronger, fitter and have better balance and co-ordination. Don’t underestimate how this translates into better functional performance in everyday life. That might mean that moving furniture proves easier (which I found out recently) or simply things so many of us take for granted like reaching for something or bending down to pick something up or simply playing with your kids or indeed grandchildren.

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