To manage your weight successfully, it is important to understand how the combination of nutrition, exercising regularly and the type of exercise that you do can affect your weight, metabolic rate and your long term health. Resistance training is an important part of this regime.

Resistance training is the foundation in managing your metabolic rate and the core of your exercise program

Lean muscle mass has the most direct effect on our metabolic rate, but is responsible for so much more.  Your metabolic rate is the amount of energy you burn all the time doing your everyday things and the only real control we have over this is our amount of muscle mass.

Increasing our muscle mass means that we burn more energy when we exercise, when we walk, when we sit and even when we sleep.  Energy burning “cardio” has only a small effect on energy expenditure (eg. running for 30 minutes only burns a little more than a mars bar), so resistance training has the biggest long term effect on weight loss.

In designing a program for weight loss, resistance training 2-3 times a week should be the foundation of your program, with cardio an added bonus for slightly extra weight loss, not the other way around.

The other important aspects of building muscle

Muscle is a dynamic reserve of protein in the body, therefore it is constantly breaking down and regenerating to provide the building blocks of the normal chemical reactions in our body, which all require protein.

Muscle protein also provides the reserve for your body’s normal tissue turnover.  Your body’s cells are constantly regenerating, bone cells every 6-12 months and cells of the gut, every 3 minutes.  The protein required comes from the muscles so the more muscle mass available, the more availability of protein for this process.

Finally muscles burn energy directly.  They are responsible for the sensitivity of your body to insulin and your ability to metabolise glucose.  Strength training not only produces more muscle mass for glucose breakdown, but the number and quality of the glucose and insulin detectors improves and becomes more efficient.

Resistance training should be the foundation of your exercise program in order to lose weight and keep it off in the long term.

​Want to know more?

If you want more information about resistance training and clinical exercise at MD Health or would like to book for a FREE full body assessment with one of our Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologists, call us on 03 9857 0644 or email us at admin@mdhealth.com.au

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