healthy living

the effects of strength training

since january 2013, i’ve been really focused on my health.  now, i’m hitting the dreaded plateau.  the scale is not moving.  but there are still changes going on.  for the longest time, the only type of exercise i did was cardio.  i would go to the gym for two hours and use only the elliptical, treadmill, stairmaster, and rowing machine.  the upside is that i got up to the point that i could run four miles in 45 minutes, which is pretty good for me not really being a runner.   the {big} downside is that i felt like CRAP every time i left the gym or finished an hour-long dvd at home.  i was completely drained.  and it’s no wonder!  i was burning major calories.  i thought that was amazing!  but i didn’t understand the damage i was doing.  yes, i slimmed down, but i was weak.

so i started doing some research…and what i found amazed me.  i realized that i had been on the wrong path for months.  an all around unhealthy path.

i started cross-training first.  a big problem with the gym is that i was so freaking bored!  i had no interest in what i was doing.  i just put on my music and did it.  but when i began cross-training, my eyes opened to all the possibilities.  i tried kickboxing, barre workouts, Zumba, and then strength training.  i loved them all, but especially the strength work.  it made me feel powerful and strong.  my form got better.  i could do everything easier.  i had more energy to do the other activities that i like doing.  my body also just felt better in general.  i wasn’t tired by noon.  i didn’t really even need caffeine.  i started making better food choices too.

now, i have a weekly schedule that i follow that incorporates all the exercises that i want to do.  i realized that i need lots of variety.  i don’t follow it to a T every week.  sometimes i’ll mix in some tennis one day or do an extra day of kickboxing.  generally, i will have 2-3 days of strength built into my schedule.  it made such a difference.  i still have some work to do, but i know now that i am on the right path.

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