Working out, building muscle and lifting weights at the gym is no longer a “men only” membership. The explosion of women’s fitness and healthy way of life has brought into that club. Having said that, generally women tend to have different goals than men when they’re exercising.
Most women workout and exercise usually focuses on the upper back and stomach muscles, particularly women who have recently had a baby. They often work to tone the muscles as well as exercises built towards losing weight. Men often concentrate of building their muscles, bigger and stronger. While both push towards toning the muscles most women aren’t focusing on gaining size to their muscles as much as they are looking for a tighter, slimmer build.
If you’re on the fence and aren’t sure if you want to start working out here’s a few reasons why you should get out there and begin gaining your strength and tone, losing the unhealthy fat, while keep your feminine shape.
The stronger you are, the easier your day will be. If you are physically stronger typical tasks will be less exhausting. Chores, picking up the kids, grocery shopping, long day at work, even just doing laundry will be easier on your body. Plus a stronger body will prevent muscle strains and injuries. When training, a woman can raise their overall strength 30 even up to 50% higher than before working out. What was once a difficult 20 lb box of books will then be a piece of cake.
A great effect of strength training is that it helps you lose fat. Muscle training 2-3x per week over 2 months can build around 2 lb of muscle while losing 3-4 lb of fat. The more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will be. Your body will then be burning more calories than all day than you were just 2 months earlier.
The battle against osteoporosis. Lifting weights will increase the spinal bone mineral density. This can greatly reduce the probability of osteoporosis.
Heart disease and diabetes can be fought. Generally lowering your excess fat helps the cardiovascular system because it naturally lowers blood pressure and the bad cholesterol. It also helps you regulate the glucose in the body up to 23%. This lowers the chance of becoming diabetic.
A healthier, happier you. Exercise and hard training promotes a healthy body, a healthier heart, as well as a happier state of mind. Many studies have shown that physical training causes the brain to release endorphins that elevate your mood. Women who weight train are often more self-confident and have a brighter outlook in their life.
Ok, I want to get healthier. How do I start?
We all live different lifestyles, have different time requirements and budgets. If you have the time and money you can “hit the gym” and have a plan or workout routine. Many gyms have trainers on staff. If you’re new to gyms and fitness training, they often give you 1 free session to give you the basics and show you how to work the machines. Take it slow though. You’re probably not ready to run a marathon or lift a couch, yet. Start with a simple warm up. Just 5-15 minutes walking on a treadmill or stationary bike will get the blood flowing. Stretch out your muscles before you begin lifting weights. Especially work on the shoulders, legs, and back. Those muscles will usually be doing most of the work and could be the most prone to injury if they aren’t properly warmed up. Just for simple tips when your start exercising with weights watch what you’re eating and when you’re eating it. The best time to eat most of your carbohydrates is before your workout and eat or drink most of your daily protein right after the workout. Always drink water to prevent dehydration. It’ll help your metabolism and keep you from being hungry. The more you sweat, the more water you’ll need. Nothing kills a good workout faster than a cramp, especially while you’re holding a weight (ouch!).
If you don’t have to time, money or just don’t care to be around a gym then you can try a workout program at home. There are many training systems and programs, whether it be in books or videos, try one that looks like it’s at the level you want to start with. You don’t want a program that is too hard because you may get discouraged and give up. You don’t want to use a program that’s too easy because then you may not see the results that you want, get bored and then stop. Shop around, find one that fits your style. Do you like MMA? There are several intense kick-boxing and MMA style workouts you can do at home. Maybe you’d rather try something more relaxing while still increasing your strength and flexibility, try yoga. There are plenty of choices, you just have to find one that you enjoy and stick with it.
Some may have bone and joint problems and diseases like severe arthritis, gout, etc. You may not be able to start with lifting weights, in that case try swimming, walking or riding a stationary bike. These would be less stressful on your joints and won’t cause extra pain. This may not change your body as fast as you like but at least you’ll still be on the right path. Then maybe you’ll be able to raise your strength and build up your body until you’re ready for a more strenuous workout.
The most important part is that you start exercising. Whether you start lifting weights at a gym or home, walk or ride a bike around your neighborhood or follow a workout video at home the key is to keep working and keep moving. Every day you exercise you are towards a healthier, sexier, more beautiful and happier you.