In hopes of shedding that last 15 lbs of weight, I have begun to run 3 or 4 times per week. In the past, this has always helped me lose the weight quickly, however I notice that as I age, this becomes more difficult. I have read that weight lifting can aid in losing weight. Is this true and how do I get started?

Congratulations on increasing your physical activity. And, yes, you are right to want to incorporate strength training in to your routine. In fact, strength training should be included in all weight-loss programs for several reasons:

  • Muscle preservation: A diet-only approach can cause approximately half the loss in scale weight to be lean muscle and fluids. Resistance training, using weights and machines, helps to maintain muscle and in most cases increases lean muscle mass.
  • Fat burning: Fat oxidation is measured in what is called respiratory exchange ratio and can be elevated for up to 24 after weight training.
  • Calorie burning. A 4 pound lean-muscle weight gain equates to an extra 50 calories burned a day, which will cause a fat loss of more 5 pounds in a year.

I encourage all of my clients that are looking to change body shape to begin a comprehensive plan that includes aerobic activity, diet modification and strength training. While any one of the components might ultimately have some impact, the combination of all three aspects can significantly impact a person’s ability to lose weight, change shape and keep the pounds off!

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