Editor's Note: Tidjani Camara died on Feb. 20. This was submitted months ago and reflects how he was dedicated to helping others attain fitness.
What's the best way to get fit? Ask the question to 10 people and you'll likely get 10 different opinions.
One will tell you to attend an aerobics class. Another will swear by jogging. Yet another will tell you that dance and biking worked for them.
There's really only one effective way to get fit. First, it’s important that we agree on what it means to be fit.
Too often being thin is mistaken for being fit. A person who is thin, but has very little muscle tissue isn't truly fit.
So how does one get truly fit? It’s simple: resistance training.
Resistance training is using resistance to challenge your muscles in order to gain strength and endurance. This is done with traditional weights, exercise bands, medicine balls, cable machines, sandbags, kettle bells and even just using your own body weight.
Consistent resistance training adds strength, muscle tone, cardiovascular capacity, speed, agility and flexibility.
If that’s not enough to convince you that resistance training is the way to become fit, then read on.
Top 9 Benefits of Resistance Training
1. Build Muscle and Gain Strength: This does not mean that you’re going to bulk up. What will happen is that your arms, tummy and legs will become tighter, leaner and more defined.
2. Lose Fat: When it comes to losing weight, all that you want to go away is fat, not muscle. Strength training ensures that you maintain and grow those muscles and only lose fat.
3. Build Strong Bones: The older we get, the more important bone density becomes. A good strength training program is one of ther best defenses against osteoporosis.
4. Alleviate Anxiety, Stress and Depression: Sure, plenty of pills claim to give these benefits, but strength training is a more wholesome and effective way to achieve those results. And besides, who really wants pharmaceutical side effects?
5. Sleep Better: A sleeping pill is another pill you can stop taking once you start strength training. Study after study have proven that strength training improves sleep.
6. Improve Chronic Back Pain: If you are one of the millions across who suffer from back pain then you’ll love the benefit of reducing the pain.
7. Improve Insulin Sensitivity: Today diabetes is a huge threat. Minimize your risk by improving insulin sensitivity through regular, strength training.
8. Improve the Good-to-Bad Cholesterol Ratio: Blood pressure and heart health are of utmost concern, so why not give yourself the advantage of a strength training routine?
9. Raise your Metabolism: This helps to reduce body fat and to keep that body fat off, even on days that you aren’t able to exercise. Pretty awesome, right?
A solid resistance training routine will tone your legs, lift your buns, strengthen your core and will result in lost inches and pounds.
Tidjani Camara is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer and owner of Massive Action Training in Tyler.