Workout wednesday

Strength training important to women's health

Women’s bodies are built different from men’s to accommodate the changes of pregnancy and childbirth. Although women may store fat differently and have less muscle mass than men, it’s still important that women include weight resistance training in their exercise routines.

Woman Training

Lifting weights is an important part of staying fit. Yet many women do not pick up weights out of fear of bulking up and gaining weight. In a 2011 opinion poll conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 20 percent of women said they accomplished the CDC’s recommended 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise and two periods of strength training each week.

Contrary to popular belief, women who weight train will not turn into the bulking behemoths of competitive weight lifting. The Women’s Heart Foundation says that high levels of estrogen make it quite difficult for women to become overly muscular. When they strength train, rather, women’s muscles will improve in tone, endurance and strength instead of size.

Resistance training provides an efficient way to build strength and burn calories. A study from researchers at the University of New Mexico found that the body will take between 15 minutes and 48 hours after exercise to return to a resting state. That means that a person continues to burn calories after exercising, a phenomenon known as “after-burn” or “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.” The more intense the workout, the longer the after-burn may last.

Studies performed at the Quincy, Mass., South Shore YMCA found that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle, but lose 3.5 pounds of fat. With that lean muscle addition, resting metabolism increases and more calories can be burned each day.

The following are some additional benefits of strength training:

• Reduces risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol.

• Builds stronger muscles and connective tissues that can increase joint stability.

• Improves the way the body processes sugar, which can help reduce the risk of diabetes.

• Reduces rates of depression. A Harvard University study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable. Women with no strength training experience can consult with a personal trainer who can teach them proper strength training form. This ensures that the exercises are being done efficiently while reducing the women’s risk of injury. Qualified trainers also can keep people moving toward fitness goals.  LS178211 SOCIAL MEDIA TEXT: Women’s bodies are built different from men’s to accommodate the changes of pregnancy and childbirth. Although women may store fat differently and have less muscle mass than men, it’s still important that women include weight resistance training in their exercise routines.

3 secrets to making morning workouts a reality

Routine exercise is one of the keys to a healthy life. When paired with a healthy diet, regular exercise can promote long-term health and reduce a person’s risk for a host of conditions and diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
While many adults are aware of the importance of routine exercise, finding time to break a sweat can be difficult. In fact, a 2013 study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that nearly 80 percent of adults in the United States do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week. (Note: The World Health Organization recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week.)
Hectic schedules dominated by obligations to work and family can make it difficult to find time to exercise. But working out in the early morning, before the kids wake up and coworkers’ emails begin flooding your inbox, can help men and women meet the WHO’s recommended exercise guidelines and might even provide a noticeable energy boost throughout the rest of the day. Men and women can expect to run into some obstacles when first establishing a morning workout routine, but a few simple strategies can help make that transition go more smoothly.

1. Prepare the night before. 
Waking up with a to-do list in the morning takes away from the time you have to exercise. Rather than fumbling for your gym clothes and sneakers in the darkness of your pre-dawn bedroom, lay out your workout gear before going to bed each night. Lay out your work clothes as well so you spend more time exercising in the morning and less time choosing an outfit.

2. Set your alarm earlier than you intend to wake up. 
Few people wake up the moment their alarm clocks first go off. Snooze buttons may help you ease into your wakeup routine, but those post-snooze button minutes are minutes you could be spending getting your recommended daily exercise. If you’re a snooze button devotee and you want to be up by 6 a.m., then set your alarm for 5:50 a.m. 

3. Get a good night’s sleep. 
In 2015, the National Sleep Foundation convened experts from sleep, anatomy and physiology, as well as pediatrics, neurology, gerontology and gynecology to reach a consensus on sleep guidelines for people of all ages. The panel recommends adults between the ages of 26 and 64 get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, noting that anything less than six hours or more than 10 hours is not recommended. A good night’s sleep will help you feel more energetic when that alarm goes off, even if it is going off before the sun rises. Exercise and sleep go hand in hand, as studies have shown that routine exercise actually improves quality of sleep because exercise is a beneficial stressor to the body, which responds to the stress of exercise by increasing the amount of time the body spends in deep sleep. 
Many adults struggle to find time for daily exercise, but early morning might be the best time for busy men and women to break a sweat.