So far my blog posts have only been about the importance of having a healthy diet and eating the right foods. However, I also want to talk to you about the importance of exercise… whether you want to lose a bit of weight or just get that ‘toned’ look people talk about, exercise will help you get there. In my opinion, the right diet combined with the right exercise is a winning combination.
There are lots of different ways to enjoy exercise…. running, cycling, playing sports or lifting weights. All of them are good for your health but not all of them will help you achieve the same goals. Cardiovascular exercise is great for the heart and can aid in weight loss, since the crucial point about weight loss is consuming less calories than you’re burning. However, what I’m more interested in talking about today is the benefits of weight-lifting, especially for women.
There are a huge amount of women that want to achieve that ‘toned’ look, or want to get rid of their belly fat or want to tighten up their wobbly areas… well, the best way to do this is to combine a healthy diet with weight-lifting. Cardio is great, but it won’t make you look ‘toned’. Why not? Because looking ‘toned’ is simply a matter of building muscle and having a low body fat percentage so that you can see this muscle. And actually, there isn’t really such a thing as being ‘toned’. Your muscles do not get firm or loose… they either grow or shrink. So, in order to look ‘toned’, we have to build our muscle mass.
So how do we get those stronger muscles? Answer: Weight-lifting. So many women are afraid of weight-lifting incase they get bulky or start looking butch… but the idea that this will happen is a complete myth! Women do not have high enough levels of testosterone to get ‘bulky’. Another myth: women should do a high number of reps at a low weight rather than a lower number of reps at a heavy weight. Low weights and high reps will build muscular endurance, whereas heavy weights with low reps will build strong muscles.
So, what are my favourite weight-lifting exercises that I recommend all women should do? 1) SQUATS – quads, glutes, hamstrings, adductors, abs 2) DEADLIFTS – lower back, quads, glutes, abs 3) BENT-OVER ROWS – lats, biceps, abs
All three of these exercises are compound movements, meaning they target multiple muscle groups. They need to be performed correctly to ensure injury prevention, but once you have been shown how to do these exercises, you should never stop. And, when combined with the right diet, eventually you will start to see a difference… just bepatient.