Strength training has a lot of advantages for women, and particularly for women aged 35 to 40 and older. By the age of 40, women generally begin to lose bone density and muscle mass. One study at Tufts University, designed by the author of 'Strong Women Stay Young', Miriam Nelson PH.D, found that instead of losing bone density and muscle mass, the women were 15 to 20 years younger after one year of weight training. They gained bone density, and their strength tests matched women who were in their 30's and 40's.These women didn't diet, but they did end up looking slimmer. Some lost 1 or 2 dress sizes, and they all replaced fat with muscle. Because muscle weighs more than fat, this is the reason they looked slimmer, though the scales may not have changed much.The women in this study were all post menopausal, and some of their ages were in the 50's and 60's. They made some remarkable changes in their lives as they got stronger. One woman described going rollerblading with her children. Another went canoeing with her husband. More than any pills or potions, strength training gave these women back a youthfulness some didn't even have to that degree in the first place.The women in this study used leg weights and free hand weights that were adjustible in their strength training program. They started at a level they were able to - even if this was the lightest weights available. They didn't buy lots of expensive equipment or home gyms, and many of these can be bought second hand with a little research locally. As they developed their strength, they invested in heavier weights.For the strap on ankle weights, they started with 1 to 3 kilograms in each cuff. The suggested ankle cuffs hold up to 10 kilograms each. The dumbells they used for their arms were adjustable, and they started with 1 or 2 kilograms. The only other equipment they needed was a chair, somewhere to store the weights, and a towel. Because you're working out in your own home you don't need to buy expensive or flashy gym clothes, or worry about feeling the odd one out. The workout itself is in the book, Stong Women Stay Young. It covers a range of basic exercises that don't take up too much time, which is suggested you do twice a week. Each session takes about 40 minutes including warming up and cooling down.Tips for women working out with weights at home* Make sure the area you're working in doesn't have rugs, electrical cords, toys and other items that you can trip over* Keep your pets and young children away from this area whilst you're working out* If you're using a chair when you do exercises, make sure it's on a carpet that won't slide around. If you don't have carpet, put the chair against the wall so it stays stable* If you have problems with your back, you'll need to be careful when you're carrying your free weights around. Take a few trips to carry things if you have to move them in or out of a storage area. And make sure you lift them properly by bending your knees and moving slowly.* It helps to keep the weights you're not currently using in their container. That way they can't be knocked off by curious children.* If you're using leg weights, don't walk around with them on. It could affect your balance. And if you trip on something, you are more likely to injure yourself than normal* Keep the telephone off the hook, and the cellphone off. That way if someone rings you won't be interrupted* Make sure you have some drinking water nearby in case you get thirsty.* Don't drink any alcohol, even a little bit, less than a couple of hours before you exercise* Try and make sure you haven't just eaten a meal before you work out. But by the same token, make sure you're not starving! If you're really hungry, you could become light headed or dizzy when you work out.* Don't forget to warm up!* If you're using weights, try doing them in front of a mirror so you can check your posture. You'll get more out of the exercise, and work the right muscles. Sometimes our posture becomes so habitual we don't realize it's not quite right until we see it* If you're using weights, a good posture means you're chin is down slightly, so that it's aligned with your neck. Your neck is in line with your spine, shoulders are straight and not stiff, back is straight, and your knees are not locked or bent. Your pelvis should be tucked under a little* When using weights, do the lifts slowly. This really works the muscles instead of letting the motion do the work for you.* Make sure you pause for a count between lifting the weight up, and lowering it* Don't hold your breath whilst you're lifting wights. Given that we're contracting muscles, sometimes we unconsciously hold our breaths at the same time. Remember to breath, but don't go the other extreme and hyperventilate!References: Miriam Nelson and Sarah Wernick, Strong Women Stay Young (Lothian)
A vacation can do wonders for reducing stress levels, but it can derail a healthy fitness regimen. Even some of the most die-hard exercisers find it difficult to stick with a workout program when away from home. Sure, many have good intentions. They may even pack their workout attire. Unfortunately, their gear never makes it out of the suitcase until they're back home. But travel from home doesn't have to result in an interruption or complete abandonment of your healthy habits. You can still fit in exercise time when away from home, regardless of whether you find yourself in a warm or a cold climate. Even if bad weather forces you into seclusion in your hotel room, there are exercises you can complete without a single piece of equipment. Below are some tips to help you stay fit while traveling and avoid coming home with unwanted extra baggage. .Be realistic. You probably won't be able to fit in your normal weekly workouts and that's okay. Shoot for completing at least 50% of your normal regimen..Plan ahead. Before leaving town, find out what type of workout facilities your accommodations will have or if there is a nearby park or jogging track (weather permitting, of course)..Scope out local gyms. If you are staying somewhere that doesn't provide a workout area then inquire at the nearby local fitness centers for their rates. Often they offer day passes for minimal fees..Pack a resistance band in your suitcase. The band takes up very little space, yet can provide you with an entire upper and lower body workout routine..Don't deprive yourself of all local delicacies. You can enjoy some special meals without going overboard. Ask the restaurants to prepare your favorite dishes with a few lower fat ingredients..Be creative. Find unique, fun ways to exercise instead of doing the same routine you do when you are at home. Try biking, hiking, a pedal boat excursion, water-skiing, beach volleyball, etc. Effective workouts aren't limited to the standard fares of walking, jogging and fitness machines..Try out your travel routine at least once at home. A new workout that you've never done before will require more time and preparation. This type of frustration just makes for an easy excuse to skip the workout..Prepare snacks. If your journey includes a lot of time in the car, be sure to pack some healthy snacks so you aren't forced to eat at all the fast food and convenience shops along the way..Play in the pool. If lounging poolside is part of your vacation plans, then hop in the pool every 20 minutes for 5-10 minutes of pool walking (try it in waist-deep or higher water for a really challenging workout)..Get comfortable. Don't forget to pack comfortable workout attire that fits your destination's climate.Here is a quick, simple circuit workout that only requires a resistance band and can be done anywhere. Complete at least one set of 8-12 reps of each exercise..Bicep Curl.Tricep Dip.Lat Pull Down.Front Raise.Push-Up.Squat.Abductor lifts.Adductor splits.Hamstring KicksFor detailed instructions for each of the above exercises, visit www.workoutsforyou.com/travel_plan.htm
Everyone already knows that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle even if certain people choose not to exercise at all. The fact that only around 10% of American adults exercise at least three times a week however may indicate that many people are not aware of just how beneficial exercise really can be. Well, consider this fact:An estimated 99.9 million American adults have total blood cholesterol values of 200 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter) and higher, and of these about 34.5 million American adults have levels of 240 or above. In adults, total cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dl or higher are considered high risk. Levels from 200 to 239 mg/dl are considered borderline-high risk.So then, what does this have to do with supporting a case to make exercise a priority? I mean how can exercise help with cholesterol levels anyway? Isnt high cholesterol only controllable by diet and medication? Lets review the following:In a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1989, 13,000 men and women were studied for eight years. Risk factors for death from all diseases were studied and this was the conclusion:The data showed that an unfit man could reduce his risk of death from all diseases by some 37% and an unfit woman could reduce her risk by around 48%. The summary was that exercise not only lowered cholesterol levels significantly but also lowered the risk of death from heart disease as well as from all diseases. Another study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control in 1989 concluded that people who do not exercise have twice the risk of developing heart disease than those who do exercise.One study done at the University of California showed that married men aged 35 to 65 who started a regular exercise program had more sexual intercourse with their wives and had more orgasms than those who did not exercise. (If thats not a good enough reason to don those jogging shorts and weight lifting gloves, I dont know what is!) Cholesterol is just another type of fat in your body. Since exercise helps to burn up fat in your body, this fat is also burned up as well during exercise. As a result of this, your cholesterol levels are reduced through exercise. But what kind of exercise is best for this? The long and short answer is; any kind of exercise! Even walking regularly has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.Of course limiting your intake of fatty cuts of meat and sticking to low-fat or even better, fat-free dairy products helps too. Also, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, particularly high fiber ones, coupled with a moderate exercise program will surly help you win the battle against high cholesterol.
Although there are many sites that claim that they will show you weight training exercises online, in reality this is not the way to go. If you want to start a "weight training exercise" program, you really need to be working with someone else. There are many options available. You can go to the gym, use free weights at home with a buddy, or get one of those machines, but if you do not do your weight training exercise with proper safety precautions, it is quite possible for you to get seriously injured.I recommend doing your weight training exercise at the gym. There are several good reasons for this, and I will go ahead and tell you some of the very best ones. First of all, you can get a spot at the gym. Of all of the weight training exercise injuries, most of them could have been avoided with a proper spotter. This is especially true with free weights which can injure or even kill you if you are forced to drop them based on muscle fatigue. This is the most important reason to go to the gym, but it is really far from the only one. The fact is that it is easier to psyche yourself up for your weight training exercise when you do go to the gym. With all of those people around you dedicating their time to getting in shape, there is just no way you will feel like slacking off in your weight training program while you are at the gym. Many gyms even have personal trainers available, who will help you to meet your personal best, by working you harder than you will yourself, and helping to chart your goals. They can even suggest which weight training exercises you should use and how many, to strengthen the muscle groups which interest you.Before you start doing weight training exercise, however, you should do some cardiovascular stuff. While you can get by quite well without weight training exercise, cardio is absolutely essential to your health. You will live longer, be healthier, and happier, and even have more energy if you do some aerobic activities every day to keep you active. We do not stay young forever, but those of us who get adequate aerobic exercises do stay young for longer than those who do not. Once you start doing that, then you can add your [*_*] program.
If you are a runner, then I am sure that you will know about calf cramps.Imagine this scenario if you will. Let's say that you are 7.5k into a 10k run and the road starts to incline. Ever so slightly, but enough to put that extra strain on your legs as you try to maintain contact with the leaders. And the temperature? Well, it's the morning, but it's hot and liable to get hotter before the end. And to make matters worse, you were so desperate to maintain contact with the leading group, that you forgot to take on liquid at the last feeding station. And did you use tight fitting calf length socks? I know they are all the rage, but why did you do it?So what do we have here?* Extra strain on muscles? * Dehydration? * Loss of essentials salts? * Restriction of blood flow? All in all, I think that we are describing running "calf cramps" , waiting to happen.I am not sure that anyone has definitive answer to the cause of cramps, but there are certainly several steps that you can take which could help save you from disaster during competition, in any sport.1. A Proper Warm UpOk, I know you know, but did you do it? If not, then those cramps could be coming. Seriously, if you have been involved in any sport to any level, then you will be aware of the importance of a proper warm up. And I don't just mean a brisk walk up the stairs to the changing room either! A proper warm up should include a routine that gently stretches your muscles to get them ready for the increased exertion, and gets your blood flowing around your body. Not only will a warm help prevent calf cramps, they will also help prevent some of the injuries that might occur when you put sudden strain on cold muscles.And whilst we are talking of warm ups, don't forget warm downs as well. Warming down after exercise can also help prevent cramping and reduce the risk of injury.2. Train Hard, Run EasyHave you heard this before? No? Well you should give it some thought, because it's true. When you train for a sport, not only do you practice the necessary skills required to execute which ever event you are competing in, but you are also training your body for the rigours of the event. To given an exaggerated example, if you train for a sprint, and then try and run a marathon, your body won't be ready. If you try it, I think you could be in for some serious cramps.Remember, train hard, run easy.3. Water is Sport's Life BloodWhenever you start to exercise, you start to sweat (or you should). Sweat is nature's way of cooling you down when you get hot, so, it's a good thing. And since your body is mainly made of water, then you should have plenty, shouldn't you? Well, considering that you lose moisture from your body when you breathe, sweating does take a lot of fluid out of your system.And your body will demand that it be replaced!If you start feeling dizzy, or experience a rapid heart beat, then these could be signs that you are starting to dehydrate. I will take it as read that if your mouth and lips feel dry, then you should be taking water on board. It is not always possible to take on fluid during sport, but always have some available as soon as you are able to drink.4. Sport A'int No Catwalk.It's true! Sport is not a fashion parade. If you think it is, then you are hanging out in the wrong place! There's nothing wrong with looking cool whilst you compete, but be practical. Don't risk injury (or cramps) by wearing clothing that is too tight, and that restricts your body's movement, either externally or via blood flow. Believe me, I know. When I was younger, I used tie up's on my socks whilst playing soccer (not as a fashion statement you'll understand), just to keep my socks up and my shin guards inside my socks. Three quarters of the way through a game, my calves would tighten up, and I would roll on the floor in agony. Once it was understood, that I 'only had cramp', I was the object of much derision, but believe me, cramp is far from funny if you are the one suffering.Wear appropriate clothing.5. Eat Properly.When you are sweating and working hard, not only do you lose water, you also lose nutrients. There is speculation that that athletes who get calf cramps could suffer from low levels of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. I am not suggesting that you do low level analysis of your breakfast cereal, but the message is clear. Look after your body, and your body will look after you. Eat sensibly, and eat the right foods.