Strength Training for Women Over 40
A woman’s body goes through many changes as she grows older with time. The body she has at 40 is drastically different from the one she had when she was 20. Instead of ignoring these changes and denying the fact that your body has changed, women should actively engage themselves with workouts to keep in shape and reduce the effects of aging on their body. Strength training for women as they become older is healthy way of ensuring that their bodies stay fit.
Thankfully there is more women strength training now than ever before. The days of aerobics, sweating to the oldies and wearing leotards are long and gone. With that said, it's still a fact that most women don't strength train properly especially as they grow older. The gyms are filled with women over 40 who do a lot of exercise but not in the proper way.
Form over Speed
It is important for women over 40 to focus more on form than speed when strength training as they are more likely to develop injuries. After 40 the body heals slower so an injury can have severe repercussions and greatly affect any further strength training for women. By proper form, it is meant that you follow slow and controlled movements during exercise in the correct range of motion.
Be wary of boot camps
Strength training for women over 40 is very different from those workouts most youngsters follow. With age, most female bodies are less able to hold up to the rigors of running and jumping. Boot camps are highly competitive and you're likely to overwork yourself, resulting in sore knees, back pain and possible wear and tear on the breast tissue. Unless you are small-chested and/or have a sports bra that supports you perfectly, at that age the last thing delicate breast tissue needs is to be violently stretched up and down.
Workout at home
Strength training for women over 40 can be done in a gym or at home with just a few tools. It is recommended that women do their strength training at home once they cross age 40 because it provides a much more convenient environment for them. This way they can escape the rigors of commuting and enjoy a healthy workout at home.
The Benefits of Strength Training
Physiologically, the benefits of consistent strength training include an increase in muscle size and tone, increased muscular strength, and increases in tendon, bone, and ligament strength. Lifting weights has also been shown to improve psychological health as well, by increasing self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth.
The body develops more endurance, power and strength which translate into more useable energy. Moreover, women over 40 will also experience improved digestion and elimination processes after strength training. Strength training in women also shows results of improved intellectual capacity and productivity. Your brain needs a reprieve from thinking; physical exercise provides that respite from the constant intellectual thinking tasks of modern life.
Strength training in women over 40 has shown results of better sleeping patterns while it also increases bone mineral density as a result of the imposed loads being placed upon the bone during the exercise sessions. Since you are active in a productive manner and the brain sends out endorphins signaling a happy pleasant state of mind during and after exercise, women over 40 are less likely to develop depression as strength training decreased stress too.
However, it is highly advised that you consult your doctor or physician before altering your workout routines or diet plans. With that in mind, don’t let age hold you back from pursuing health & wellness goals. The time to look & feel your best is today!
Healthy Eating Tip 2: Moderation is key
People often think of healthy eating as an all or nothing proposition, but a key foundation for any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? How much is a moderate amount? That really depends on you and your overall eating habits. The goal of healthy eating is to develop a diet that you can maintain for life, not just a few weeks or months, or until you've hit your ideal weight. So try to think of moderation in terms of balance. Despite what certain fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.
For most of us, moderation or balance means eating less than we do now. More specifically, it means eating far less of the unhealthy stuff (unrefined sugar, saturated fat, for example) and more of the healthy (such as fresh fruit and vegetables). But it doesn't mean eliminating the foods you love. Eating bacon for breakfast once a week, for example, could be considered moderation if you follow it with a healthy lunch and dinner–but not if you follow it with a box of donuts and a sausage pizza. If you eat 100 calories of chocolate one afternoon, balance it out by deducting 100 calories from your evening meal. If you're still hungry, fill up with an extra serving of fresh vegetables.
- Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods or food groups it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. If you are drawn towards sweet, salty, or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often. Later you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.
- Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently, particularly in restaurants. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don't order supersized anything. At home, use smaller plates, think about serving sizes in realistic terms, and start small. If you don't feel satisfied at the end of a meal, try adding more leafy green vegetables or rounding off the meal with fresh fruit. Visual cues can help with portion sizes–your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards, a slice of bread should be the size of a CD case, and half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb.
Come back soon for the next Healthy Eating Tip...."It's not just what you eat, it's how you eat!"
What is Healthy Eating?
Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, stabilising your mood, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible – all of which can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics and using them in a way that works for you. You can expand your range of healthy food choices and learn how to plan ahead to create and maintain a tasty, healthy diet.
This series of blogs will take you step-by-step through the process of understanding and achieving a healthy balanced diet, including:-
- Set yourself up for success
- Moderation is key
- Fill up on fruits & vegetables
- Eat more whole grains
- Enjoy healthy fats
- Put protein in perspective
- Add calcium & vitamin D
- Limit sugar & salt
Healthy Eating Tip 1: Set yourself up for success
To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.
Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts.
Think of water and exercise as food groups in your diet.
Water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated - causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.
Exercise. Find something active that you like to do and add it to your day, just like you would add healthy greens, blueberries, or salmon. The benefits of lifelong exercise are abundant and regular exercise may even motivate you to make healthy food choices a habit.
Keep posted for Healthy Eating Tip 2...."Moderation is key!"
How to get toned thighs...!!
Wondering how to lose thigh fat? Well, for starters, you deserve a pat on the back if you’ve decided to reduce your thigh fat – because, it’s not only about getting better looking legs, it’s about a healthier, more physically fit you! Thigh fat is a very stubborn fat - indeed losing thigh fat may come across as a trying journey, but it’s worth it nonetheless!
Thigh fat can be a great source of discomfort and embarrassment for some people. It may seem difficult to get rid of this unsightly fat store, but it can be done! With a combination of the right exercises, the right attitude and a balanced diet plan, you can work your way to shapely, toned thighs in no time.
So take the initiative, follow these steps and get the shapely thighs that you have always desired:-
1. Cardio Training!
Cardio workouts get your blood pumping and are a great way to lose thigh fat. Engage in a 45 minute running, cycling or speed walking routine at least four to five times a week. Take a friend along to make your cardio workouts more enjoyable. Alternatively, a stationary bike is also a great way to lose thigh fat! Remember, persistence and dedication should be an instrumental part of your workout routine.
2. Resistance Training!
When women hear the words ‘workout with weights’, they envision themselves with bulky, manly looking legs. Ladies, adding weights to your squats, leg lifts and side lunges will give you strong, toned thighs. Yes, you will build up strong muscles, but your legs will not look manly at all! A few leg workouts a day should do the trick for lean, shapely thighs.
3. Let’s Stretch!
Never forget the importance of stretching before you dive into your intense cardio or resistance training routine. Stretching prepares your body and muscles for the physical activity that is to follow. Without stretching, you risk the danger of injuring yourself or pulling a muscle. This setback will prevent you from working out, and that period of no exercise will build up those thigh fat deposits like nobody’s business!
4. The Right Diet!
It’s not all about exercising and sweating the fat off. Eating the right foods plays a very important part in helping you to achieve your desired goal of losing thigh fat! Boycott foods that are crammed with fat such as cheesy pizzas and hamburgers. Your thighs store fat so the sooner you cross out fat and sugar rich foods from your diet, the better! Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, and protein rich foods. Protein rich foods such as eggs, fish and beans will contribute to your ‘thigh fat loss program’ by building muscle, not fat.
5. The Right Attitude!
All of the aforementioned steps will be utterly futile if you have a negative and pessimistic attitude. It would be wonderful if we could lose thigh fat overnight, but unfortunately that is not an option. Losing thigh fat needs work, sweat and determination. You need to take each day as it comes and consider every passing day as a step closer to your goal of getting shapely, fat-free thighs!
It may seem like a lot of hard work but at the end of the day, the reward is worth it! Once you have achieved your dream thighs, do not slack off on the exercise and diet. Engaging in a cardio workout a few times a week, will not only trim any excess fat off your thighs, but will also keep your entire body in good shape.
Healthy Eating to Lose Weight!
Crash diets or fad diets; never help you to lose weight in a healthy way. Even this kind of weight loss is not a permanent one that means when you go back to your regular eating plan, you’ll put on even more than you lost. So it’s very important to lose weight in a healthy manner including daily routine exercise. The body likes slow changes in terms of food and exercise. If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight before, you may believe that it’s just too difficult or that diets don’t work for you. But there are plenty of small but powerful changes you can make that will help you to achieve lasting weight loss success. The key is to create a plan that provides plenty of enjoyable choices, avoid common dieting pitfalls, and learn how to develop a healthier, more satisfying relationship with food.
THE HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS CALCULATION:
First you should understand this simple formula: If you eat more calories than you burn, then you gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight.
Since 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound of fat, if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you'll lose approximately 1 pound a week...
500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories
All too often, we make weight loss much more difficult than it needs to be with extreme diets that leave us cranky and starving, unhealthy lifestyle choices that undermine our dieting efforts, and emotional eating habits that stop us before we get started. But there’s a better way! You can lose weight without feeling miserable. By making smart choices every day, you can develop new eating habits and preferences that will leave you feeling satisfied.
Following are some points that’ll help you to understand the proper way to lose weight healthy...
- Our body uses food for energy and any excess energy is stored as fat in our body, causing weight gain. So it’s simple you need to get your body to use these fat stores to lose weight, and for this you have to, reduce the amount of calories you eat and increase the activity levels, this is how you lose weight in terms of controlled diet and exercises.
- Introduce changes gradually in your diet, don’t expect over night change!! You should change your eating habits permanently and this will happen only if you slowly and gradually start eating health, like swapping full-fat milk for semi-skimmed or making time for breakfast each morning than a diet that sets rules for all foods.
- Try to incorporate more veggies, fruits in your diet. Beans are good source of proteins with lots of dietary fiber. Besides adding whole grains into your diet will give you fullness for longer.
- Eat slowly, savoring the smells and textures of your food. Also take time to chew food, prolong chewing will help you not to eat a lot.
- Breakfast is very important meal of the day and you should never skip it, have a proper and healthy breakfast followed with smaller portions of meals for the whole day, this will keep your energy levels maintained.
- You can easily reduce your daily calorie intake by replacing soda, alcohol, or coffee with water. Thirst can also be confused with hunger, so by drinking water, you may avoid consuming extra calories, plus it will help you break down food more easily.
BEING ACTIVE REALLY HELPS!!
- Increasing activity level really works, No matter if you hate gyms – even light exercise, such as a short 20 minute walk, will be beneficial if done most days of the week, as every single time you exercise more than usual, you burn calories and fat. Team sports, racket sports, aerobics classes, running, walking, swimming and cycling will all improve your fitness levels.
- Get out and about at the weekend. Leave your car on the drive and walk to the shops. Try to incorporate longer walks into outings to the park, coast or countryside and take a picnic, so you're in control of what you are going to eat that day.
- Every extra step you take helps. Always use the stairs instead of the lift, or get off the bus a stop before the usual one and walk the rest of the way.
- Use commercial breaks between TV-programs to stand up and do exercise, or consider using an exercise bicycle in the living room while watching your favorite program.
KEEPING A FOOD DIARY:
If you're not sure what's wrong with your diet, try keeping a daily diary of everything you eat and drink. You can use a notebook for this.
- At the end of the week, review your entries for problem areas.
- Look out for processed foods, alcohol, fast food, roasts, creamy sauces and fried foods.
- If your diet seems largely healthy, look at portion sizes.
A food diary is an excellent first step in assessing how you eat. It can also help you understand how you eat the way you do, which is often just as important when it comes to long-term weight management.
The most important factor in keeping an effective food diary is to make it an honest one. Why go to the trouble of keeping a food diary if you aren't going to be honest with yourself? Remember, no one has to see it but you, so do yourself a favor and stay truthful.
Best exercise to tone your arms...
Lifting your arms to wave and going through the horror of seeing the baby flab on the arms jiggle? What a nightmare! Just spending ten minutes a day on your arms, following simple specialised work out routines targeted towards the arms alone can help you get the cuts, the sleek look and the no flab affect we all so desire!
Here are some simple and easy to do exercises to get those arms toned up in no time, help you feel healthier and make you look great!
One of the most basic workout exercises to tone your arms is weight lifting. In case you have never lifted dumbbells before, start small. However, a minimum of 5 lbs should do the trick! Hold the dumbbells tightly in your hands with a firm grip, slowly and gradually lift your arms up into an upwards curl position, and then ease your arms and lower them back down. This exercise is not only beneficial for the arms, but helps the pelvis as well. By lifting dumbbells and putting strain on those muscles, your arms will tone up and the muscles will build up and tighten, giving the arms that sleeker look!
The Triceps Dips
Sitting against a bench or a chair or the steps of a stair case, rest the heels of your arms on the edge of whatever you choose your back support to be. Keep your back straight, and stretch your legs out slowly in a ‘walking-while-sitting’ fashion. Once you have assumed this position, slowly lower yourself down with the heels of your hands intact on the back support and then lift yourself back up again, in a dipping manner. This exercise is a wonder worker for toning up the triceps, but with great benefits come some pain and effort! This exercise is supposedly pain squealing! The catch though is, just ten dips can do the trick! Complete a set of tone and move on the next exercise to tone those arms up!
This exercise can be really fun to do! But, you must be cautious, don’t want that head to undergo any severe injuries! This rather simple exercise requires a lot of effort. Holding dumbbells firmly in both hands bring them in level to your shoulder, with the feet close together. The next step is where the fun begins! With a thrust, jump up spreading our legs further apart and lift your arms up at the same time, followed by jumping again but this time bringing the arms back to shoulder level and shutting the legs in! This exercise is an effective one in toning the arms up, as it puts the right amount of strain on your triceps and the biceps. Furthermore, it is effective as a workout for the legs too!
Push-ups happen to be an amazing workout for the arms, the shoulders and the chest all power packed in one package of an exercise! This quintessential workout gets the arms to respond fast and can help you get the arms you desire! Start off by lying down on your stomach in straight alignment to your exercise mat. Slowly, lift yourself up and place your hands on the floor in such a way that they come directly under your shoulders and are in line with the chest. Point to be noted - make sure the neck and the shoulders are relaxed! Once you’re down with that, bend your elbows, lower the chest inwards towards the floor and inhale while you do so. The next step is to switch back to the starting position but this time exhale!
Squats get the blood pumping through your body and work in toning up the legs and the arms both! Here’s what u need to do. Assume a squat position, with your palms pressed against the floor right under the chest bone. Next, jump and push your legs and extend them behind the body while keeping your abs tightened the entire time. Finish up by recoiling your legs and coming back into starting position! Do these squats 10-15 days along with the other exercises to tone up the armseveryday consistently, and no morejigglers guaranteed!
CrossFit...the NEW fitness programme!
CrossFit is an intense exercise program featuring dynamic exercises like plyometric* jumps, and Olympic lifts while using non-traditional weightlifting equipment such as Kettlebells, sand-bags, suspension systems or water-filled implements.
The program is structured in such a way that participants are challenged to do a certain number of repetitions in a workout in a specific time frame; the more advanced CrossFit participants will actually compete against each other to see how fast they can complete the daily workout and post their results on the CrossFit website.
Due to the intensity and explosive muscle action of the exercises in a CrossFit workout, there are many benefits for the average exercise enthusiast. However, the intensity of the exercises which deliver the benefits could also increase the risk of injury if not done correctly.
Before beginning a CrossFit program, work with a personal trainer (me) to learn how to perform the movements required for the workout. Firstly, you should develop necessary joint mobility (especially at the ankles, hips and shoulders) as well as joint stability (particularly in the core region) to learn how to effectively perform hip hinge, squat, pushing, pulling and rotating movements.
The explosive and plyometric exercises in a CrossFit workout require rapid lengthening and shortening of muscles so if a participant does not take the time to develop the necessary flexibility and movement skills first, the joints might not allow a full range-of-motion which could affect muscle tissue and cause an injury.
The many benefits of CrossFit training are due to the intensity of the exercises. High intensity, power-based exercises are effective for burning a high number of calories in a short period of time while simultaneously improving aerobic fitness and promoting the anabolic hormones such as testosterone, HGH and IGF-1 which are responsible for muscular growth and can actually have an anti-aging effect.
CrossFit is an excellent workout program and is a great way for the experienced exercise enthusiast to add much-needed intensity and diversity to his or her program. CrossFit is not a recommended program for people just starting to exercise or returning after a long break. It is highly recommended to work with a personal trainer and develop the necessary mobility, stability and movement skills before progressing to a challenging CrossFit workout.
* Plyometrics is a method of training muscle elastic strength and explosiveness to enhance athletic performance.
How to Squeeze Exercise in Your Routine
There are numerous exercise programs and plans that women promise themselves to follow, but often tend to lose that zeal and passion that they had in the beginning. Before you know it, there is no exercise in the routine!
Why is it important for women to exercise?
There are so many reasons why women to exercise! For starters, exercise is imperative to a woman’s health. Exercising prevents cancer, particularly Breast Cancer. Exercising prevents one from becoming obese – a condition that has a negative impact on a woman’s fertility and ability to have a child. It allows a woman to attain peace of mind and confidence. Now that we’ve established that exercise is important for women, let’s briefly go through work out tips for women that can make exercise fit into your life!
Tip # 1 - First Things First
Set your priorities straight! It’s important to follow an effective exercise routine! That means make a goal. First decide if you want to exercise before work or after work, before school or after? You can aim for either 30 minutes a day or 60 minutes during which you are to exercise.
Tip # 2 - Best Exercise Tips for Women
It is advised to practice cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, jogging, jumping jacks, stair climbing or dancing. If you like, you can join a Fitness Class. A great Fitness Claim that women really enjoy is Zumba. Zumba allows one to lose weight at a fast rate and provides numerous health benefits. Opting for ‘Interval Training’ is also advised! For instance, walk for two minutes, then run for two minutes and then go back to walking.
Tip #3 – Be Realistic
Set goals that are realistic. Don’t try to overdo an exercise if you don’t think you can. Remember, always start slowly and then gradually pick up pace in terms of exercise!
Tip # 4 – Find A Partner!
It’s good to find a partner who also wants to lose weight and stay healthy, encourage each other while exercising together. Use this to enjoy one another’s company.
Tip # 5 – Be Consistent!
Consistency is important for any effective exercise program. Don’t ever skip an exercise plan – come rain, come shine! No exercise program in the WORLD will ever be effective or helpful if you don’t follow it consistently.
Tip # 6 - Do What Suits YOU!
It’s important to follow an exercise regime that fits your routine. If you manage to go to the gym, then well and good! If not, then just simply exercise at home. In fact, most women find this much more convenient! You don’t have to waste time going and coming back from the gym and you get to save money - a win-win combination!
You should choose those exercises that are enjoyable, like if you hate walking on a treadmill or doing cycling then go for swimming and aerobics, that’ll also burn lots of calories with enjoyment!!
Tip # 7 - Ask Yourself: When Am I Most Energetic?
Start your exercise when you are most energized. If you are a morning person then try to start your day with your workout .Working out while you have optimum energy levels gives you best results.
Tip # 8 - Find Motivation
Motivation is always good when it comes to exercising! Perhaps you have a family wedding coming up or you simply wish to fit back into your old clothes?
Tip # 9 - Patience Is Key!
Patience counts a lot. Healthy weight loss takes time, it may be gradual but it’s worth the wait and the effort!
These work out tips for women are helpful to achieve effective weight loss. Don’t ever get depressed or upset about failed exercise plans. The point is to pick up from where you left off! It’s never too late! Remember to eat healthy, exercise regularly and drink plenty of water to stay healthy!
Running is one of the simplest ways to exercise. Plus you do not need any fancy equipment to get started. What do you need? Good pair of running shoes and you are good to go! It doesn’t require a great deal of technique at first, and it’s not age or gender-biased. It’s also a great way to burn calories fast. Running can burn nearly 600 calories per hour for a 150lb person.
Why start running? Research has proven there are tremendous benefits to running, including reducing your risk of illnesses such as colds, flu and even heart disease.
Running is a great form of aerobic exercise for your heart and lungs. Carrying your body’s weight will get your heart rate up fast, which beats sitting on a machine. Because you have to carry your own body, running can help increase bone density, which helps prevent osteoporosis and osteopenia. Running also helps you improve your fitness and stamina.
Starting any new exercise routine can feel overwhelming, so instead of starting running in the dark, it’s helpful to learn some basic information about running first...
- Getting Started - Before you take your first steps, there are some important basics you should know. Although running is a healthy activity, you should get medical clearance before you start a running program, as with any exercise program.
- Shoes - Visit a running-specific store to have your gait and foot assessed when buying your running shoes. Well-trained staff can assist you in picking the right shoe for your foot and your specific needs, which will keep your feet happy and reduce risk of injury.
- Start slow - Don’t try to run a marathon if you’ve never run around the block. Start with short distances every other day to get your body conditioned to the new activity and stresses on your body. One good rule of thumb is the 10% rule. Don’t increase your total weekly mileage by more than 10%, or increase any one run by more than 10% at a time.
- Knowing the distance - You don’t need a fancy watch to know how far you’ve gone. There are many free Internet mapping options to allow you to map and track your runs.
- Running Clubs - while running is considered an individual sport, many people find running with a buddy or a group of people more enjoyable. Plus, it makes staying committed to your new fitness pursuit easier. Check out what clubs are in your local area.
- Stay interested - Try signing up for a small race or charity event to keep your eye on the prize. It usually takes three weeks to form a habit, so sign up for something four to six weeks in advance to keep you focused and maintain interest in your new running regime. After that, you can set yourself a new goal of a faster time or a longer distance.
On the right track to fitness...?
In need of some hints ‘n’ tips to bulk up, tone up or even get through a marathon...?!
What do I need to do?
1. Eat the right foods to maximise your performance
2. Stay motivated and you’ll soon shift those pounds off
Where do I start?
A healthy diet should be the foundation for any active person and fuelling your body with the right foods is essential. Eating a variety of carbohydrates (carbs), fruit and veg, dairy and lean protein, will give you the wide range of nutrients your body needs to remain healthy and function properly.
- Eat slow releasing carbs like whole-wheat pasta, granary bread, brown rice and porridge to keep you feeling fuller for longer
- Eat lean protein like fish, eggs, beans and pulses and yoghurt
- Nuts, seeds and dried fruit are nutrient rich and an easy way to get more fibre, vitamins and minerals into your diet
- Fruit and veg are a low fat way to replace essential fluids and vitamins essential for energy production
- Avoid energy dips and peaks by avoiding refined sugar found in cakes, biscuits, sweets and fizzy drinks
- Cook healthily - stir-fry, poach and grill food and trim away visible fat from meal
Rise ‘n’ Shine
An early morning start has several benefits! Research suggests that exercise is best done first thing in the morning, as it kick starts your metabolism for the rest of the day and your muscles will be fully rested after a good night’s sleep.
What can I do?
- A run in the morning is good because your legs have the biggest muscle groups in the body. The more you work them, the tougher they become increasing your metabolism which will help burn fat and flab from your body even when relaxing.
- Walk, jog or cycle to work - it’s an easy way to fit fitness into your day.
- Chose a gym or swimming pool near work or school - once you’re home there’s less motivation to go out again
- Hit the gym during your lunch break - giving your mind a rest and your heart a work out
I don’t feel like eating first thing in the morning...!! You’ll need something light and carbohydrate based to sustain your energy. Try bananas or a bowl of cereal with milk or yoghurt. These foods are easy to digest.
When you’re dehydrated you tend to feel tired and lethargic, so keep drinking before, during and after training to get the most out of your efforts. Scientific studies have shown that if a person who is exercising loses more than 2% of their body weight through sweating and dehydration, their physical and mental performance will suffer...most people can easily exceed this 2% threshold within the first hour of a work out.
Bulk up in the evening
It is generally considered better to weight train later in the day, as first thing in the morning muscles can be stiff and joints loose. Men tend to have big arms and a solid build, but many neglect the necessity to work their back. Your back again contains many large muscle groups and neglecting to work these will inhibit growth elsewhere and lead to poor posture and physique. Compound exercises are the best way to bulk up as they involve movement through more than one joint - squat (hip, knee, and ankle), bench press (elbow, shoulder) and seated row (elbow, shoulder).
To get all your muscles working and tone from tip to toe, here’s a few pointers in the right direction:-
- Squats: hands on your temples, bend the knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Repeat10-20 times.
- Lunges: keep legs shoulder width apart, stride forwards then dip your knee towards the ground and back up. Step back, change legs and repeat 10-20 times on each leg.
- Pull ups: find a solid bar that is at approximately chest height, taking an underhand grip, keep your feet on the floor in front of you and hang underneath looking towards the sky (your body should be at approximately a 45-degree angle). Pull your chest right up to the bar and lower steadily keeping your body rigid and straight. Repeat 5 to10 times.
- Press-ups: arms shoulder width apart, legs and back straight behind you, toes tucked in, chest to the floor. Using core muscles and arms raise your body until arms are straight, repeat 10 to 20 times.
- Curl and press: hold a weight in each hand (could be a filled water bottle) curl your bicep and them immediately press the weight above your head. Lower under control and repeat 8 to 12 times.
Weight training is a great addition to aerobic training for those in the quest for improved muscle definition. When undertaking strenuous exercise, particularly weight training, muscle breakdown occurs and to repair damaged muscles, protein is required.
You’ll need to trim the fat off your figure to see the results of your weight training and this can’t be done from protein alone. After training it’s essential to restore your glycogen (energy) levels and the nutrients you’re body has used up. Eat lean protein and carbohydrates and fruit and veg which are a low fat, non-stodgy, way to replace essential protein, fluids and vitamins essential for energy production.
Eat well, drink more and train right and you’ll start to see a big difference in your energy levels, health and sports performance.
Beyond its fabulous flavour and perfect portability, apples are packed with major health benefits.
1. They're Slow Food
Firm and packed with fibre (5 grams, or 20% of your daily value), they demand a chewing commitment, giving your body time to register itself "full" before you scarf down too many calories. And the natural sweeteners in apples enter the bloodstream gradually, helping keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steady so you feel full longer - the opposite of many sugary snacks, which produce a quick rush followed by a hunger-inducing crash.
2. They Help You Breathe Easy
Kids of women who ate the most apples while pregnant were less likely to wheeze or develop asthma by age 5, researchers from the UK found recently. The fruit may also protect the lungs of adults, lowering the risk of asthma, lung cancer, and other diseases.
3. They Zap Cholesterol
Thanks to two key components, pectin (a type of fibre) and polyphenols (powerful antioxidants), apples can take a bite out of blood cholesterol levels and prevent the oxidation of LDL ("bad") cholesterol - the chemical process that turns it into artery-clogging plaque. The trick to maximizing the benefit: Don't toss the peel; apple skin has two to six times the antioxidant compounds as the flesh.
4. They Fight Cancer
Lab studies have shown that several compounds in this juicy fruit curb the growth of cancer cells - but they're most potent when the apple is eaten whole (minus the stem and seeds, of course). People who munch more than one a day lower their risk for several cancers (oral, esophageal, colon, breast, ovarian, prostate, and others) by 9 to 42%, Italian researchers found.
5. They Make You Smarter
Possibly because they boost the production of acetylcholine, a chemical that transmits messages between nerve cells, apples are now thought to keep your brain sharp as you age, enhance memory, and potentially lessen the odds of getting Alzheimer's disease, suggests one recent animal study from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. With this sort of nutritious nosh at your disposal, it might be time to rethink the idea of a "smart cookie."
|Personal trainers aren't for everyone, but a trainer provides certain benefits that you can't find when working out on your own. Here are ten reasons a personal trainer may be right for you.
One of the main reasons people benefit from a personal trainer is that they loss motivation to stick with a consistent exercise program. Certified personal trainers can provide structure and accountability, and help you develop a lifestyle that encourages health.
- Individualised program
If you have any chronic health conditions, injuries or training goals (running a marathon, for example) a trainer will work with you and your health care provider to plan a safe, efficient program that considers these needs and enable you to reach your health goals.
Personal trainers help you focus on results and stop wasting your time doing inefficient workouts. A personal trainer has a plan and will help you get maximum results in minimum time.
- Improve technical skills
If you play a particular sport, the right personal trainer will help you improve your skill by showing you new training techniques specific to your sport. The trainer will incorporate skills training into your program so you improve not only your strength and endurance, but your agility and mental focus as well.
- You are new to exercise
If you are an absolute beginner, a personal trainer is the ultimate fitness coach. A good trainer will introduce you to a very simple, effective routine and build efficiently so before you know it, you have the confidence and knowledge to decide what is right for you.
- Break through plateaus
Ok, you are already in pretty decent shape, but you've been there for years. If you are stuck in the same routine and want to break out of a rut, a personal trainer is the perfect solution. A trainer will jump start, not only your motivation, but your routine as well.
- Learn how to go it alone
If you ultimately want to learn all the facets of designing your own routines so you don't need to use a personal trainer, going for a few months may be all you need. All good personal trainers will teach you the basics of building and modifying a fitness program to achieve maximum results.
- Workout Safely
A personal trainer watches your form, monitors your vitals and can provide objective feedback about your limits and strengths. Most of us tend to ignore some of the subtle signals our body provides. We either push through pain or give up too soon. Because a personal trainer can watch what you are doing while you are doing it, they can help push you or slow you down as necessary.
- Workout at home
Many personal trainers make house calls. If you don't have the type or interest in going to a gym, but have a hard time knowing what to do on your own at home, a personal trainer can bring fitness into your living room.
- Lose Weight
There is a good reason that the number one reason people hire personal trainers is to lose weight and get into shape - it works! If you made a resolution to lose the fat and build the muscle, a trainer can keep you on track and help you realize that goal.