Hi, guys and happy Tuesday!

Okay- we’re more than halfway through the first month of the year. How are those 2015 goals coming along? Are you still sticking with your plan? How are you making your move?

Hopefully you’re not being too hard on yourself, but instead, making smart choices every day, for your health and wellbeing. It’s no secret that getting fit and staying fit is optimal for your short term and long term health. I’m partnering with Kohl’s and the #MakeYourMove initiative to share with you 10 reasons why it’s important that you’re not only active, but you’re also doing some form of strength training consistently.

If you remember back to when I shared my 2015 goals with you, one of those goals was to change things up in the gym with regards to weight training. Last year, I successfully added weight lifting to my weekly exercise routine. The rewards have been great- I’m lifting heavier and I can actually see my muscles! I’m ready to see a bigger impact, though. And I know to continue seeing results, it’s important that I’m not doing the same weight lifting routine day in and day out.

Now’s the time, ladies and men, to get in that weight room and shake things up! And here are a few top reasons why-

1. Increase in bone health and reduced risk of osteoporosis. Research has found that weight training can increase bone mineral density, therefore leading to a much lower risk in osteoporosis. If you want to stay strong through your lifetime; weight training is SUPER important. No broken knees or hips here!

2. Cut risks for heart disease and diabetes. A fairly new study suggests that people who pump iron are less likely to have risk factors linked to heart disease and diabetes.

3. Raises metabolism and keeps it boosted long after you’ve left the gym. Metabolism refers to how much energy your body uses, or how many calories you burn in a day. Because lifting strains your body so much, that it needs extra time to recover; experts estimate your metabolism can stay elevated for up to 39 hours after your workout. Wow!

4. Mood booster and reduced risk of depression. Most of us have heard of the “runner’s high” and know that cardio reduces endorphins that reduce depression. In addition, studies show that weight training can be just as effective as aerobic exercise in elevating your mood. To get the full benefit, aim to get in two to three days a week of resistance training and be sure that you’re challenging yourself. At the end of a set, your muscles should feel fatigued.

5. Bye-bye body fat! As you gain muscle (if you’re consistent, you will), you will lose fat. Weight training will enable you to build up a larger degree of lean muscle mass, which then basically serves as your calorie burning powerhouse in the body….. see #3 above. In fact, many experts argue that weight training can strictly be used for fat loss – with no cardio at all. This is due to the fact that you’re continuing to burn calories at a greater rate than cardio, after the workout.

6. Daily activities will be easier. It’s no doubt that if you stick to a consistent weight training routine, where you are increasing weight and doing a variety of workouts; you will get stronger. And not only will you get stronger, you’ll increase your flexibility and stability and decrease your risk of injury. This is not only important for us youngins, but think of how important this is as we age. The majority of bad falls are associated with poor balance and weakened muscle fibers.

7. Improve your endurance and speed. If you’re a swimmer, runner, skier, cycler and want to improve and get even faster; strength training could be the answer. Working your legs with heavy weight, such as barbell squats; will result in increased leg strength and an improvement in your body’s efficiency to use energy and oxygen. This will also increase your speed and with running; you’ll have a better final kick with more fast, fatigue-resistant muscle fibers.

8. Live longer. There is evidence that that shows being strong and having adequate muscle mass and strong bones are key health traits to help women live longer, fuller lives. According to a June 2013 study published in the journal Diabetes, both men and women became more insulin sensitive after 12 weeks of strength training, decreasing their risk of getting type 2 diabetes. In another study from 2004, the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found women within the lowest two quartiles for sit-ups had twice the risk of mortality than women in the highest quartile.

9. Slow down the aging process. Starting a strength training program can help prevent Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass that begins in our 40s. In addition, weightlifting has been shown to greatly help the elderly stay in shape by keeping the brain active and the nervous system and body attune to the coordination of movement. Strength training also helps to avoid the loss of joint flexibility that comes with aging.

10. The hotness factor. If you’re really sticking with weight training, at least 2-3 days a week and consistently increasing your weight; I promise you will see results. I’ve seen more results in my body composition over the last year (since I got my butt into the weight room) than I have in all the years doing nothing but cardio. I can actually see muscles in my arms without flexing. And believe me, this will lead to greater self-esteem and confidence.

Now don’t be thinking you’re going to get big and bulky. The hormone make-up in a woman’s body makes this impossible… no excuses!

The cute workout shirt I’m wearing in the pictures above is from Kohl’s —–(link to the shirt) and it’s on sale. They have such cute and functional fitness wear for any type of activity! Check out all of the fabulous Kohl’s fitness wear here!

Follow Kohl’s on the following social channels:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kohls
Twitter: http://twitter.com/kohls
Instagram: http://instagram.com/kohls
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kohls/ Love the #MakeYourMove board!

Something to think about….

How are you going to #MakeYourMove? Snap a photo of your “Make Your Move” moment and tag Kohl’s with the hashtag #MakeYourMove on Instagram! I would love for you to follow me on Instagram, too!

Do you currently weight train? What’s your favorite muscle to train? I’m all about leg day!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl’s.