When most people are trying to lose weight, they rarely consider the benefits of muscle building. Muscle building can be an effective tool for weight loss. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so it uses more energy. The greater the percentage of your body weight is muscle, the higher your resting metabolic rate. Muscle building doesn’t have to be this grueling, arduous task. You can get the same benefits from high repetitions and low weights, a new study shows. Lifting heavy weights was not seen to improve muscle building more than lifting lighter weights for longer periods. Both are equally effective in building muscle mass.
This is great news for the less fit or active people, who haven’t really spent a lot of time in the gym. Strength training is an essential part of a fitness program. It raises your metabolism, strengthens muscles and connective tissue, increases flexibility, improves immune system function, improves reaction time and balance, and increases bone density. No fancy equipment is required – some dumbbells, kettle-bells, or exercise tubing will be just fine. You should consult your physician before beginning a structured exercise program, and make sure you are properly warmed up before starting a workout (see sidebar). SAFETY FIRST – Before you embark on a strength training program, it is suggested that you receive some professional technique instruction to avoid injury.
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