I’ve talked in the past about the importance of physical activity, and how aiming for 7-10,000 steps a day can be very helpful in countering the changes to your metabolism during weight loss (specifically to non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or N.E.A.T).
Moving around during the day, whether it be going for a walk or tending a garden, is really useful for burning a few extra calories, keeping your body healthy, and improving your quality of life.
But those activities in and of themselves aren’t enough for most people.
To build muscle and strengthen bone you’re going to need to engage with some type of resistance training. It needs to get progressively more challenging over time. It should cover all the major muscles in the body through a full range of motion. Squats, deadlifts, presses, and rows all accomplish this task.
The best part about learning how to perform the barbell lifts is the ease of adjustment. You can use very light weights or very heavy weights. You can easily adjust the range of motion. You can make small gains with tiny, fractional, plates.
Lifting weights doesn’t need to become your obsession, but take 2 days per week and train 2-3 exercises. Track what you do and try and add a little weight over time. All the other physical activity in your life will get better. Gardening, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow- it all gets easier.
It’s easy to think that being outside and getting a sweat means we’re working out. If you want to really build up your physical 401k, you’re going to need more than just yard work to get you there. Find a coach and take a few hours to learn the barbell lifts. You’ll find, as many have, that life gets easier.