Physical activity studies conducted in the last 10 years show that only 12% of the population participates in a vigorous exercise program, and 54% do not even exercise at a moderate intensity for 30 min. a day. It is no wonder our waistlines are expanding.
According to a study published by The Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit foundation dedicated to improving health in the U.S., 66% of the population is overweight and more than 32% are obese. That is a 33 percent increase from 1994.
Restaurants are serving portion sizes twice the size as in the 1970’s and technology has advanced to the point that we barely have to move to survive. We press a button to turn channels on the TV, keep our phones in our pockets, ride a mower to mow the grass, and even our games have become digital.
Building lean muscle mass by lifting weights has been proven to increase metabolic rate and burn 5 – 10% more calories per day, according to studies performed by Southern Illinois University. Along with a proper diet, intense weight training can help us lose those extra pounds. American and Dutch studies revealed that lifting weights 2-3 times per week, for 20-minute sessions, increased 24-hour caloric expenditure by 5-10% and increased post-exercise metabolic rate for 72 hours.
If you are looking to whittle down your waistline, plan both weight training and cardio into your workout routine. While cardio will burn calories during performance and up to an hour afterwards, weight training will keep calorie expenditure burning even longer.