Written for my Health and Fitness Column in the Cotswold Style Magazine April 2015
As a female have you encountered any of these problems, and wondered what you could do to improve it?
-cannot walk for more than 50 meters with shopping bags in each arm without your arms feeling like they are about to drop off?
-struggling to lift your hand luggage over head when travelling?
-having to wait for your partner to do most of the physical task when not at home or out?
-ever had to or have concern about defending yourself if the need arose?
-find it very difficult to lift your kids up for more than 5mins without feeling physically exhausted?
-still don’t have the body you desire, having tried countless diets whilst doing as much cardio as possible?
These are just some of the reasons why you should embark upon and embrace a training program of lifting weight a few times a week.
Here’s the facts:
A- You will actually lose body fat:
The truth is, strength training helps reduce body fat and increase lean bodyweight. These changes may result in a slight increase in overall bodyweight, since lean body mass weighs more than fat. However, by increasing your lean muscle mass over time you will also increase your metabolism which means that almost all the calories that you consume, through eating the right foods, will be used to nourish your body& muscles and there will be less chance of the body storing excess food as fat. In addition, your body will continue to burn calories for hours after your training even when you are not exercising. This is the one of the reasons why you don’t get that lean and toned figure after spending countless hours on a treadmill week in week out; you are basically not building any muscles but actually getting weaker overtime as well!
B-You will get Physically Stronger over time.
Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent upon others for assistance in daily living. Day to day chores will be easier; lifting the kids, carrying groceries, and moving the sofa, will no longer push you to the max. When your strength is increased, things like daily tasks and routine exercise will be far less likely to cause injury and seem less demanding. Some research studies have concluded that even moderate weight training can increase a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent, think about that ladies.
C. The dreaded myth “I do not want to be bulky or manly”.
Fear not ladies. From an experience stand point this is one of the main reasons why women shy away from not embracing weight training. But from a scientific point you will not bulk up or get as big and muscular as men because of the hormonal balance in a woman’s body is so different. Testosterone is a major factor in muscle growth which is largely what make men increase muscle mass compare to females plus typically women’s natural testosterone levels are 10 – 30% or lower of those of men. Instead the hormone that is equivalent to testosterone in a woman’s body is oestrogen. Oestrogen help women develop the curvy shape and typically the presence of oestrogen is not known to result in a gain in size from weight training. On average, women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle hypertrophy. This is one of the main reasons why as a female you will not end up with huge muscles mass you see on men, but instead with the correct weight training programme it will help you develop muscle tone and definition with the loss of body fat, a win-win situation.
So in conclusion – weight/strength training will give you a greater chance of losing unwanted body fat and having a leaner and sexier physique. It will increase your metabolism and burn more calories, even on the days when not training. I will greatly improve your posture, helping you to look and feel more confident.