Losing Weight Lifting WeightsLosing weight by lifting weights is a way to build lean muscle that will both increase your metabolism, as well as make you look better overall.
Are there any secrets to shedding pounds by lifting weights? Are there special considerations because of your age?
Can you lift too much? And does it affect anything else in your body?
Let's find out.
It's a fact -- if we don't do something to stop it, we lose muscle each year. The older you are, the more muscle you've already lost, and the slower you should start.
This isn't a contest -- you're not competing with anyone. What you are doing is getting healthier and losing more weight!
Metabolism and Muscle
One of the benefits of losing weight by lifting weights is increasing your body's metabolism. Why is this so important?
Your body needs a certain number of calories per day to survive. That amount is your base metabolism. If you eat more calories per day than your base metabolism (plus any extra exercise you do), you will gain weight.
However, you can up that number of calories your body needs per day by exercising and building lean muscle. Muscle burns extra calories, while fat just hangs around and does nothing.
With extra muscle boosting your metabolism, you can either
Either way, it sounds like a good deal!.
Losing Weight Lifting Weights - How To Start
There are no hard-and-fast rules on this. Your best bet is to schedule and appointment with a personal trainer and discuss what you want to accomplish. You'll get direction on what exercises you need to do, along with the correct number of pounds to lift, and how many times per set.
(No, you don't need to buy an exercise machine for this -- simple, inexpensive hand weights will do just fine.)
Don't have access to a personal trainer? Next best is to get a DVD on lifting weights. Watch it once to get an idea of what you need to do. Then, get the appropriate hand weights. Finally, if at all possible, have someone watch you as you go through the routine, and point out if you are doing an exercise incorrectly.
(Don't have anyone who can watch you? Get a full-length mirror and check your form with it.) .
How Much is Too Much?
You should be able to do a couple-three sets (usually between 8 and 15 repetitions ["reps"] of a specific exercise) without pain. It may be a struggle to get those last few reps of your last set done.
Too easy? Add more weight (one-pound increments is good) or more repetitions per set.
Too hard? Back down on the weight some and/or reduce the number of reps per set.
If you feel pain -- stop! There's a difference between being a bit sore because you're exercising muscles you haven't used in years and pain from too much weight or doing an exercise wrong.
Building Bone Density
Each year as you get older, you are more at risk for osteoporosis. Can lifting weights help?
Any kind of strength training exercise, like lifting weights, will help to halt your bone loss, and can even reverse it. How much you can reverse it depends on how much bone you've lost and how much weight you're lifting. But any way you look at it, even halting the loss is a good thing!
Exercise and Looking Slimmer
Exercise does more than just burn calories and raise your metabolism. It also helps you look better!
Think about it -- when your muscles are flabby, they take up more room than when they are taut and lean.
Compare it to wearing that dreaded garment, a girdle. When you're wearing one, you haven't lost weight, but have compressed your body, to look leaner.
Muscle can compress when it's exercised regularly, and it takes up less space, too. The result? You look trimmer. Not to mention you drop inches!
Losing Weight Over 40 Copyright 2007