“I don’t want to look too buff” “I just like doing the elliptical” “I’ll just do cardio”
Cardio is not bad, but neither is building muscle. It’s all about balance. While cardio will help with fat burning, strength training will burn fat and tone muscle! A common misconception is that strength training will make you look super buff, but it would take a whole lot of very heavy weight and a whole lot of protein for you to look even close to a body builder.
Strength training is a type of exercise using resistance, your muscle becomes stronger by contracting them with every repetition of an exercise you do. The resistance comes from your own body weight or other weights (dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, or anything else you may use as a weight!).
Strong healthy muscles may not show on all people, but having them is beneficial. People don’t just strengthen to have big muscles. Strengthening your muscles will not only benefit your every day tasks, but keep you from getting injured as easily as well. Just like if you don’t do cardio often, the muscle that makes up your heart can wear out easy (causing that pain in your chest and you feeling like your going to fall over from exhaustion when doing something as simple as walking up a flight of stairs). If you don’t strengthen your muscles they will not be as prepared to do the daily tasks that you thought you could do, or used to be able to do. When your muscles aren’t being strengthened they can also compensate with each other and other body parts causing injuries over time. Those are the injuries that people don’t realize they have until they are older, and take so much longer to correct, because of they compensating they have been doing for so long.
Do your body a favor: keep your muscles working! How you do it is up to you. Do something that you love. There are so many types of strength training exercises out there to chose from.