Before I became a personal trainer I was afraid of the gym. The treadmill was my go to because all I had to do was hit the green button and I wasn't at risk of looking like I didn't know what I was doing. After talking to a trainer in the gym one day, I decided to start a basic weights program I found online and even though I wasn't finishing my workouts as sweaty as I would after a treadmill session, I noticed the extra kilos started to come off, my body looked more toned and I loved that feeling of being sore the next day! Now that I'm a trainer I love watching my clients see changes in their own bodies by adding weights to their routine and the benefits far outweigh the looking and feeling stronger part (which is also awesome) Some benefits include:
Boosting your metabolism for up to 36 hours post training
Creating lean muscle mass that improves your BMR (basal metabolic rate) a.k.a how many calories you burn doing absolutely nothing!
Losing primarily fat as opposed to losing fat and muscle when you do cardio training.
Protecting your joints from injury (particularly runners and cyclists)
Increasing bone density which is imperative for the aging process
Improving posture and stability/balance (core)
I've had many clients come to me with amazing cardiovascular fitness but like me, they feared weight training because they weren't only afraid of looking like Arnie but they also had no idea where to start. Most gyms memberships include a free training program for new members or alternatively there are plenty of online programs available. I would suggest working with a trainer to make sure you are using the correct technique, even just for a few sessions. A good place to start is also using bodyweight exercises such as squats and push ups. (See below to grab my bodyweight leg workout). Why don't you try some strength training and see how it works for your body? I promise you won't be disappointed. ;-)
Here's to a happy and healthy you!