Dust off your sneakers. It's a New Year with a new goal... Get Fit for Life!
WORTH THE WEIGHT
Women often shy away from using weights at the gym, either at the risk of 'bulking up' or feeling intimidated to visit the free weights area or tackle an unfamiliar machine.
However, for each year that goes by that women don't work out with weights, they lose a kilo of muscle and gain a kilo of fat. Therefore, just to maintain existing muscle, let alone build additional, it's essential to incorporate strength training with weights into a gym work-out.
Fernwood Women's Health Clubs have these key factors to consider the next time you work-out: What is strength training?
Progressive overload of the muscles to increase strength and maintain lean muscle mass, at an intensity just outside our comfort zone. Will I 'bulk up'?
Many women don't realise that it's testosterone (the male sex hormone) which plays a major part in muscle growth, making it very difficult for women to gain muscle at all. How does it work?
Compound strength training with weights (using more than one joint at a time), ensures the best results in the shortest period of time. Strength training must be progressive, therefore we need to continue to increase the amount of weight we actually lift over a period of time to get results.Do weights burn fat?
Strength training helps to maintain or increase your muscle mass, in-turn elevating your metabolism and your capacity to burn fat - turning you into a fat-burning machine!Isn't cardio alone enough?
The key component is 'intensity' with strength training, as opposed to 'volume' with cardio. Cardio work-outs (without the support of a weekly strength-training session), will burn both fat and muscle. However, by reducing your muscle mass it will weaken your bones, and slow your metabolism and body's ability to burn fat. Is strength training just for young people?
If you don't use it, you lose it! Strength training is essential to keep your body functioning at its best and is recommended for women of all ages.What are the benefits?
Aside from the physical benefits of being toned, strength training can also help to; improve posture, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease, increase energy levels, abdominal strength and bone mineral content, whilst strengthing the bones, ligaments and tendons and reducing the risk of injury.How often do I need to train?
It only takes 30-minutes a week of compound strength training with a personal trainer to get results and keep you feeling young, strong and confident - perfect for the average time-poor woman!Remember - your muscles need recovery time between sessions. Depending on the intensity of your strength training session, your muscles will require up to six days for full recovery.How do I get started?
Don't attempt to start strength training without proper advice from a professional who will also tailor a program to your individual needs. Remember, strength training with a personal trainer will help you to stay motivated and ensure you're using the correct technique, helping to reduce any risk of injury.
Fernwood Women's Health Clubs was established in 1989 as a single club in Bendigo, Victoria. Today, with over 80,000 members, 2,000 employees, 70 health clubs and an annual turnover in excess of $90 million, Fernwood is the largest women's only health club in Australia, offering a full range of facilities.
Follow Fernwood Women's Health Clubs top summer tips to help motivate you to get into shape, and keep you feeling healthy all year round.
1. Set your goals: Whether you're walking for weight loss, increased fitness or relaxation, the process of choosing exercise goals helps you develop a focus for results. Write down your goals and post them somewhere you'll see them every day.
2. Get a fitness program: Have a qualified personal trainer assess your fitness and design a program that you can comfortably follow for your level of fitness.
3. Eat small regular meals: To help increase your metabolism and avoid hunger.
4. Drink plenty of water: Every part of your body needs water to work properly, but water is particularly important for keeping the kidneys healthy. Dehydration (lack of water) is one of the reasons why people develop kidney stones.
5. Take time to 'chill-out': To avoid the everyday stresses, make time to sit quietly, read a book and enjoy your own company.
6. Eat healthy snacks: Take fresh and dried fruit and nuts to work. These foods will provide you with energy in-between meals, helping you to maintain concentration and alertness throughout the day.
7. Don't overdo it when you're sick: When the immune system is fighting a cold it's better to exercise at a controlled intensity, listen to your own body, as exhaustive exercise depletes the body's ability to fight bacteria and viruses for up to 72 hours after.
8. Plot your progress: Seeing positive gains on a chart or record form and provide hard evidence that you're making progress.
9. Mix-up routine: Reduce the risk of boredom by changing your exercise routine. You can also change the intensity of your program by choosing to go faster or slower on alternate days.
10. Reward yourself: Offer yourself an enticing reward for keeping active. A month's effort could earn you a refreshing facial, massage or a new pair of shoes!
Fernwood Women's Health Clubs