CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Of the men and women who exercise, many mistakenly believe cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise is all they need to stay healthy. And while most understand that strength training will build them a better body, they seem to be in the dark about the many other health benefits lifting weights provide.
Women need their iron
I admit we women have come a long way. More females are figuring out that strength training is where it's at and venturing into the type of training that was once male-dominated. However, there are still too many who are shunning weights and opting to dance and prance their way to fitness (only one-fifth of females strength train two or more times a week).
As an aerobics instructor for many years, I understand the joy of cardio (step, Zumba, kickbox, spinning and even old-school freestyle) and the wonderful effect it can have on our bodies. In addition to our cardio endeavors, however, our muscles must also be challenged so that they can live healthier ever after.
They've done the research
The following information is based on studies from the University of Pittsburgh, the University of South Carolina, Penn State and the University of Michigan.
Bad news: Shed pounds through cardio only, and 75 percent of it will be from fat and 25 percent will be valuable muscle.
Good news: Pump some iron and you will lose fat almost exclusively.