I LOVE strength training. In my humble opinion, it is simply the best bang for your buck.
Weight training, especially when it involves legwork, increases your heartrate, giving you a cardio effect even though you're not doing any traditional cardio (stair climber, treadmill, aerobics, etc).
Weight training results in increased muscle which, though it weighs more than fat, takes up less space than fat, so your body is slimmer.
Increasing your muscle mass also increases your metabolism. Cha ching!
Muscle burns calories, which means you get calorie burning accomplished after you're done working out!
Weight training improves your posture - which also makes you look slimmer.
Now, you are not supposed to weight train every day (especially if you do a full-body workout). Your muscles need a 48hr resting period to rebuild themselves.
So, I weight train 3 days per week. Right now, my favourite weight training DVD is Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones. It's about a 45 mins workout (not including warmup/cooldown) and it's split into 7 circuits each consisting of two sets of each exercise. This is perfect because it allows for all sorts of flexibility. You can....
1) do the entire killer workout.
2) do the first set of each circuit - working your entire body, but cutting the time in half. You can also increase the weights a bit if you're only doing one set.
3) do 3 or 4 circuits only - this works especially well if you do the first 3 or 4 circuits as you will still workout your entire body. If you do the last 3 or 4, there is not as much armwork.
Changing things up keeps your body guessing, which helps break through plateaus, or prevents them in the first place!
The last couple of days I've used my old Debbie Siebers DVD's - I'm not sure I actually have ever tried the ones I used, but I read through them and picked the one that sounded like it had only weight training in it - Shape It Up! was the one I did. It's super long, so I only did 30 mins which ends up being a perfect total body weight training workout. And it was pretty killer! It was a nice change.
I have also ordered some new DVD's (I get bored easily and like the variety!) - Core Fusion DVD's - I think I ordered all 5 of them, looking forward to trying them out!
So, on my "off" days, I've taken up running. Didn't think those words would ever come out of my mouth! I have now finished Week 6 of the Couch to 5K training program I've been doing and things are going well! I am now up to jogging for 25 mins straight - though I have no idea what the distance is I'm running. I'm actually really enjoying it, so I think my husband might pick up one of those fancy GPS running watches while he's down in the States this weekend.
I also like, and occasionally use, Jillian's other DVD's - Banish Fat Boost Metabolism, Yoga Meltdown and the 30 Day Shred (my previous fave before I found NMTZ). I've been debating taking up either the pushup or situp challenge again. We'll see!