Here's why it's so important:
1) Lifting builds your bone density (you didn't think I'd list this one first, huh?) Ok so lifting and jumping build bone density... super important for when you get older... can greatly reduce your risk for osteoporosis.
2) Muscle burns 3-4 times as many calories AT REST than fat does. Seriously! Think of it this way... think of your super jacked guy friends who never ever do cardio but lift at the gym on a consistent basis. Why are they so fit and fat-free? Their metabolism is through the roof because they have dense muscle mass that is burning calories while they are sitting at work.
3) It gives you tone and strength - this is the obvious one - Michelle Obama arms don't come from doing the elliptical... I can promise you that one!
Here's an at-home workout that you can do in your living room... all you need is 3 or 5 or 8 lb free weights (Heavier for guys)... you should work to the point that the last few reps are a struggle) , a balance ball, and a yoga mat. I do this workout a lot and it takes about 40 minutes. I found it in a book I read and then made my own personal modifications. It's great to do before work... especially since it'll get your heart rate pumping throughout the day.
(If you don't have the balance ball - you can modify and work without it, except for the first move. The balance ball helps work more muscle groups in your core because you have to 'work' to balance!)
1. 50 Jumping Jacks
2. Squat with overhead press (20)
Tip: Large muscles burn more calories at work so it's good to combine them with a small muscle move ie: (squats with overhead shoulder press) Large muscles include: Back, quads, hamstrings, glutes, chest, core; Small muscles: biceps, triceps, calves, shoulders
3.. Hip Lifts on the Ball - Lay on your yoga matt.. put your legs out straight and dig your heels into the ball. Lift your hips off the matt for 20 reps. Works glutes & hamstrings.
3.. Chest press on the ball... (20)... Your position on the ball should be so that your upper back is situated on the ball, feet on the floor... and push up through your hips to keep an even table top position. (you'll feel it in your glutes)
4. Chest flies on the ball... (20) Same position as #3
(repeat the last 4 again)
5. Lunges with bicep curls (do 12 on one side and 12 on the other) (remember to keep those knees at a 90 degree angle)
6. Reverse butt bridges... Lay on your matt...feet planted on the floor push your hips up to the ceiling, pushing through your heels... (20)
7. Plie squat with dumbells. Feet out wider than shoulders and hips, toes and knees faced out... drop down into squat with dumbell in between legs, and then push back up (20)
8. 12 burpees
(repeat last 4 again)
9. Back flies (20) Use a heavier weight... your back is one of the strongest muscles
10. Lateral raises for shoulders.... Lift both straight arms up to the front... don't go any higher than shoulder, bring them down and then lift them out to the side. Do this 20 times (will likely need to use a lighter weight for these)
11. 20 alternating backwards lunges
12. Tricep extension in squat. Squat down and bend over about 45 degress... lift your elbows back and extend both arms out... (20)
13. Bicycle crunches (30)
If you need any help with form... you can google any of these moves for a photo - these moves are standard practice and you should be able to find photos anywhere! Good luck and feel free to ask me questions. It's hard to explain without photos! Have an AWESOME week!