I started strength training a few years ago, and one of things I noticed the most was my ability to put my suitcase into the overhead compartment on an airplane. No longer did I have to strain to get it up there; I lifted it with ease and felt a good degree of pleasure – and pride — as I did so.
I wager that many of us have only thought about strength training as another step in our weight management efforts. Recent findings, however, have poked a hole in the theory that we can significantly increase our metabolism – and thereby burn more calories – if we build muscle through strength training. Sally Squires in her regular column in the Washington Post quotes David Nieman at the Human Performance Lab in North Carolina as saying adding two pounds of muscle will only increase your daily needs by 24 calories. Not worth the effort in my book.
That doesn’t mean, however, that strength training doesn’t have an effect on our efforts to maintain a healthy weight. Which brings me to the real reason I strength train. It makes me feel sooooo good. I feel strong. I feel toned. My aches and pains diminish…and sometimes even disappear. Because I strength train, I have the energy to follow a healthy lifestyle. In my book, that’s worth all the effort.