Give Your Workout Weight

Imagine an exercise that keeps working for you after you're showered and rested. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins and Arizona State universities, resistance training does just that.

"Resistance training could have a more lasting effect on metabolism than aerobic exercise," says Carol A. Binzen, MS, CPT, lead author of the study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (2001, vol. 33, no. 6).

Cardiovascular workouts burn more calories during exercise, but only increase metabolism for an hour afterward. Resistance training raises the body's energy expenditure double-time—up to two hours post-workout. For maximum fitness benefit, women need a combination of both types of workouts, according to the researchers.

So add some resistance to your workout regimen, and your body will benefit—now and later.

Exercises used in the study were: abdominal crunches, biceps curl, chest press, latissimus dorsi pull-down, leg extension, leg press, seated row, shoulder press, triceps extension.

Talk to a personal trainer at your fitness club if these exercises are new to you. It is important to know the proper technique for each exercise and how to use the weight machines.

—Dena Nishek