New Year, Spare Me!
Instagram has been dominated in fairly equal measure by the ‘New Year, New Me’ brigade and the ‘New Year’s Resolutions are BS’ camp ever since 2018 began to encroach on our consciousness.
I fall somewhere in between, in the sense that while I realise that restrictive diets and extreme fitness regimes are unrealistic, unenjoyable and unsustainable, I also believe that embarking on a fresh chapter can serve as great motivation and reflecting on the patterns of the past year can throw up some great ideas for the coming one.
I hope to be less hard on myself in 2018 and to continue to sleep and eat well (3/4 of the time anyway!) and exercise 3 times per week. I plan on significantly reducing my meat intake, but that will serve as the crux of another day’s post. Today, I’m going to post briefly on the metabolic benefits of strength training, something that did not really feature a whole lot for me in 2017 and something that I plan to feature a couple of times per week for the year ahead!
- Fat loss. The larger your muscle mass, the more calories you burn at rest, helping you shed fat while retaining lean muscle mass. This obviously becomes especially important as we age and our muscle mass wanes.
- Blood sugar optimisation. Strength training enhances our body’s sensitivity to insulin which ultimately results in more carbs being converted for use as fuel rather than being stored as fat. In the short term this results in weight loss and in the longer term, helps stave off adult-onset diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions.
- Blood cholesterol optimisation. Studies have shown that regular strength training leads to reduced levels of Triglycerides and LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and elevated levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol. In addition, regular strength training results in lower blood pressure.
- Bone density improvement. Muscle and bone health are closely related. Strength training boosts bone density, leading to lower levels of brittle bones and a reduced fracture risk.
Which side of the New Year’s resolutions fence do you stand?
I wish you all a fantastic 2018!