When some of us think of exercise, it’s easy to immediately picture a treadmill. Walking challenges are common in the workplace, and images of cycling and running often accompany weight loss flyers. Running, cycling, and walking, though, are only one form of exercise: cardio. While cardio is a great way to burn calories, benefit heart health, and be active, it actually comes in second place to resistance training, as far as benefits go.
Forget the images you may have of body-builders with veiny arms, grunting through a heavy deadlift. Resistance (or strength) training does not have to include this type of intensity – rather, it simply means exercising in a way to improve strength and endurance. Resistance bands, bodyweight, dumbbells, and kettlebells can all be used for this form of exercise, making it accessible to anyone. That’s a good thing, too, because resistance training unlocks so many physical benefits that cardio alone cannot. This is why NouFlex is focused on using resistance bands to enable anyone to do strength training. Check them out the advantages that resistance training has over cardio below:
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages that resistance training has over cardio is the ability to increase your metabolism. When you only do cardio, your body does not get any muscle-building signals. On the other hand, when you do resistance training, your body is specifically told to build muscle.
What does this have to do with metabolism? Well, muscle uses up a lot of calories by simply existing. So, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body needs and uses up. As a result, your metabolism increases, allowing you to burn more calories everyday.
To put it simply:
The more we age, the easier it is to bend over and pull a muscle, or wake up with new aches and pains after playing with grandkids. According to experienced Personal Trainer and NouFlex creator Anel Bellevue, when you do resistance training, you are building a foundation of mobile and strong muscle that will protect your body better from injury. For example, if you have a strong core that’s been built up from exercise, you’re less likely to pull a back muscle when bending down to pick something up.
In addition, strength training helps with balance. Strong core, glute, and other muscles will help stabilize your body in various positions, helping prevent falls.
“Exercise itself slows down the whole aging process. It slows down the breakdown of muscle tissue, and it increases your bone density,” says Anel. For women in particular, osteoporosis – or a low bone density – can be common with older age, making it easier to break or fracture bones. Resistance training combats this bone loss, and helps you maintain a good range of motion, allowing you to continue doing the activities you enjoy as you get older.
As I explained above, resistance training builds muscle, which increases the amount of calories your body uses up. So, when combined with proper nutrition, it can help you lose fat. In addition, resistance training can create a “toned” or “strong” appearance – which cardio alone cannot do. Typically, what we consider to be a “toned” look is really a bit of muscle that is defined and can be seen. To create this muscle, resistance training is needed.
For those looking to challenge themselves, focus on a personal goal, and improve at something, resistance training is for you! There are an endless amount of ways to progress strength training: from adding weight to adding balance and functional elements, to increasing intensity by changing up your repetitions and sets. This type of training opens the door to endless opportunities, goals, and ways to keep exercise interesting.
If you are thinking about adding resistance training into your current workout routine, NouFlex has some great products such as the Mini Bands for intensity levels: lite, medium, heavy and x-heavy. Don’t know where to start? Check out one of our virtual training classes to get expert-led guidance!