The Benefits of Strength Training for Women

The Benefits of Strength Training for Women

There is a quote that’s often tossed around in the fitness industry – “Lifting weights doesn’t make women huge. Eating cupcakes makes women huge.”
While amusing, this quote is true. It’s often thought that strength training also known as weight training is a man’s domain and that women will get muscle-bound and manly if they did weight training. That’s why you often see most women hitting the cardio machines in the gym while the men grunt away at the free weights corner.

The truth of the matter is that strength is not only for men. Weight training has many benefits for women too. It won’t make you big or manly. The woman’s physique and lack of testosterone prevents her from packing on massive muscle mass. It just doesn’t happen without performance enhancing drugs.

Now that we’ve cleared up this misconception, let’s see why you absolutely must start weight training as soon as you can. The benefits are just too good not to.

* Prevents muscle atrophy
Strength training prevents muscle atrophy. Both women and men lose lean muscle once they reach their thirties. Every year they lose some muscle mass. Weight training will prevent this from occurring and may even reverse the process. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

* Slows the aging process
Weight training retards the aging process. As mentioned earlier, you’ll lose less muscle, be stronger and healthier. A healthy body is more capable of handling the ravages of time. Women who engage in weight training often tend to look younger than their years.

* Reduces subcutaneous fat
Strength training increases blood flow to the muscles that are being worked. If you have thighs that are fatty or a belly that’s flabby, just place your palm on these areas. You’ll notice that they’re generally colder than other parts of your body that are leaner.

The reason for this is blood circulation. Areas that have excess fat have lower blood circulation. Weight training will recruit the different muscle groups and your body will be forced to draw blood into these areas. Your blood circulation will improve and this indirectly leads to a loss of subcutaneous fat.

What is subcutaneous fat? It’s the fat that’s just under your skin. Women usually have more subcutaneous fat on their buttocks, thighs and hips. Another reason why you should get rid of this fat is because it causes the appearance of cellulite.

No lotion or brushing can get rid of cellulite. Only a clean diet and weight training can help burn off the excess fat and diminish the appearance of cellulite.

* Reduces visceral fat
Visceral fat is a very dangerous type of fat that covers your internal organs. There are a lot of toxins in visceral fat and it’s an easy type of fat to gain. Dieting will not remove visceral fat. You MUST engage in weight training and cardio activity. Over time, your body will burn off the visceral fat and you’ll be less likely to get diseases and become sick.

* Boosts metabolism
It boosts your metabolism so that you burn more calories while at rest. You’ll be less likely to gain weight easily.

* Combats osteoporosis
As women age, they’re more prone to osteoporosis. Strength training will prevent this because it stresses the bones and this will force the body to deposit more bone which in turn fights osteoporosis. Isn’t weight training amazing?

By now you should know just how fantastic this form of training is. Besides the points mentioned above, working with weights will also prevent diabetes, lower your cholesterol, boost your heart health, improve your posture and balance and prevent back pain.

While all this is well and good, the one benefit of strength training that most women will love is that it will transform your body into a picture of health. Your body will become more feminine because of the tone and any curves will look better. You’ll look great naked and when you’re at the beach, you’ll really rock that bikini.

Strength training is the answer you’ve been looking for.

 

imdocmac

Exercise After 50- What You Should Be Doing

What Exercise Should You Be Doing After 50

The mistake many make is stopping exercise altogether as they age.

This is one of the worst things you can do to your body at a time when exercise is needed more than ever.

The aging process hastens breakdown of muscle and connective tissue, and can leave you immobile if you sit there and do nothing about it.

Already over 50?

It is never too late to start improving your health with exercise.

The following are exercises you should be incorporating into your fitness plan:

Aerobics

Aerobics, also known as cardio or cardiovascular exercise, is important at any point of life, but even more so as we get older.aerobicexercise

Aerobic exercise plays an important part in maintaining the health of various organ systems, including the heart, lungs and brain.

Though there are many different types of aerobic exercise, it is best to start with a low-impact variety, to safeguard the safety of the joints until it is established that you can handle more.

 

Be sure to include the following types of aerobics:
• Swimming
• Cycling (including stationary bikes)
• Walking
• Jogging

Strength Training

Far too many people associate strength training with becoming a bodybuilder or some other strong man type of athlete, but in reality your body needs resistance to stay functional.

People that weight train regularly, especially older persons, have a greatly decreased risk of fractures, pain, and immobility due to muscle atrophy.

You need to perform at least basic strength training, which entails using your bodyweight. Added resistance is good, but do it only when you feel you are capable.weighttraining

Be sure to include the following movements into your regime:
• Squats
• Bench presses
• Push ups
• Pull up/ assisted pull ups
• Lat pull downs shoulder presses
• Deadlifts / hyperextensions
• Triceps presses
• Dumbbell curls

If you have preexisting joint issues, you can substitute one exercise with another. For example, removing the squat and using leg extensions instead.strengthtraining

Flexibility Training

The single most underrated aspect of any training program has got to be the flexibility component. The reasons are simple enough to understand, after all, you don’t see any immediate benefit to doing it, so why should you? But there’s another way to look at flexibility training- as insurance.flexibilitytraining

Think of flexibility training as the insurance that safeguards you in the eventuality of the worst outcome, in this case immobility or injury.

 

Flexibility training has numerous benefits on a body aged over 50, such as:

Decreases Pain Following Training- part of the reason muscles and joints ache after a workout is because of an inability of muscles to elongate back, or when they do they place undue stress on connective tissue.
Promotes Balance- loss of balance occurs frequently as we age, due in large part to loss of muscle mass, but also to stiff connective tissue. Flexibility training can significantly help you maintain balance as you age.

Include these in your flexibility training to reap the benefits:

Dynamic Stretches- these are stretches performed prior to your workout to get the muscle and connective tissue loose and ready for activity. This significantly helps to reduce the risk of injury during an active workout set.stretching
Static Stretches- these are stretches performed after working out a muscle group, to relieve muscle tension. Static stretches help stretch the muscle fibers and reduce pain after your workout.

Conclusion

Maintaining the integrity of the joints, heart and muscles requires incorporating some aspects of all the exercises listed above.

Staying mobile will definitely contribute to optimal health and longevity in the future.

imdocmac

Are You Too Old To Lift Weights

Are You Too Old To Lift Weights?

Energy levels gradually decrease as we grow older. As a result, most middle-aged individuals and beyond assume that it’s too late to get into weight lifting. That, however, could not be further from the truth!

toooldtoliftweights

Not only is it never too late to start lifting weights, but weight training actually becomes more crucial as you age. This is because if done often enough, weight lifting can help reverse or at the very least slow down the loss of muscle mass and bone density that occurs naturally with age.

What’s more, weight lifting offers a host of other important benefits for older individuals ranging from a boost in strength to increased flexibility and balance to improved health to reduced risk of falls and more. So, if you’re a middle-aged individual or older, you should seriously consider making weight lifting a part of your exercise routine.

To ensure you get started on the right foot, here are a few pointers on the best and safest way for senior adults to start lifting weights.

Get Your Doctor’s Approval

It is always important to check with your doctor before starting a new workout program – more so if you are in the later years of your adulthood. A doctor will be able to determine if you can lift weights regularly without putting your health at risk.

Consult with a Trainer

While weight lifting is a great workout option for those advanced in age, it can be dangerous if done using the wrong approach. For this reason, it is highly important that you consult with a trainer before jumping into weight training.

A trainer will be able to take you through all the various intricacies (i.e. proper form and technique, ideal rest times, complementary warm up routines, suitable diet, and so on) that make up a safe and effective weight lifting workout.

A trainer can also help you develop a personalized workout plan based on your unique fitness level and overall health.

Start Slow

Since weight training is a highly intense physical activity, taking on too much too soon will more than likely lead to injury regardless of your age.

The risk for injury is however higher for those who are more advanced in age. So, it is essential to start slow and increase workout intensity as strength and fitness improves.

The trick here is to start with a weight that provides a challenging but comfortable workout and then gradually increase weights as the body grows accustomed to the currently used weights.

Exercise Regularly

As with any form of exercise, regular workouts are mandatory to ensuring you get to experience whatever results you are going for. However, since older individuals have a slower recovery rate than their younger counterparts, more rest is required in between workout sessions.

This therefore creates the need for striking the perfect balance between ensuring effectiveness and proper recovery. According to most fitness experts, 2 to 3 times a week should be enough to keep workouts safe and effective for the much older individuals lifting weights.

Age is not a factor when it comes to weight lifting as literally anyone (even those as old as 90) can reap the benefits of weight training.

All that is required is caution and proper planning and execution of a weight lifting regimen.

With the above tips, you should be able to create a personalized weightlifting plan that ensures both safety and optimum results.

imdocmac