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Strength Training for Women Over 40
4/28/2013 5:08:24 PM

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
4/28/2013 12:53:21 PM

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!"
Healthy Eating - Tip 1
4/26/2013 1:10:07 PM

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!"
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