Ester Marsh column: Why include weight training?

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 16, 2015

When we look at the five fitness components, they are cardio, strength, strength endurance, flexibility and body composition. In the last few weeks I have spoken to some of our members who focus on cardio, flexibility and eating right. They don’t feel the need to include strength in their routine. It doesn’t have to be a “body building” routine, but weights should be included in your weekly workout regimen and this is why:

1. To strengthen your muscles, which is hard to do without resistance like weights.

2. The more muscles you work, the more energy you burn, the more you can eat!

3. After a great workout you are “high” on endorphins. Natural and safe and legal!

4. You realize after a while that your rump is not “dragging any more.” It is back where it belongs … in your underwear!

5. If you don’t use it, you will lose it.

6. You never had it, but you can get it. If you don’t, believe me, you lose more!

7. Your arms stop waving long after you are done waving.

8. Your “keg” will change into a “six-pack.”

9. Chicken legs will become muscular chicken legs.

10. You eventually enjoy “the burn.”

11. It’s a great stress reliever.

12. Saggy breasts tighten up. Yes, this also applies to men.

13. Skin looks healthier, tighter, better.

14. Posture improves.

15. Bone density improves.

16. You are able to keep up with anyone!

17. People will say behind your back: “I remember how he/she used to look. They must be working out!”

18. You’ll get to meet new people, make new friends.

19. You are never too old to start!

20. Last but not least: You have to for it to be part of a healthy lifestyle.

Funny but true, isn’t it? And it is all about making choices. Are you ready to make that choice and commitment to look and feel better? Do something that is great for your overall health? Don’t go crazy and start lifting five days a week, one hour at a time. Start with baby steps, twice a week 15 to 30 minutes at a time. If you enjoy classes, you might want to try BODYPUMP. It is a choreographed weightlifting program that uses the whole body. It is in a class setting and is done to music. In the Fitness Center any of our trainers can help you set up a program that works for you and your lifestyle.

Next time I hope I see you “pumping some iron!”

Ester Marsh is health and fitness director for the JF Hurley YMCA.