In our last article I outlined the top three mistakes women 45 and over are making when approaching their health and fitness. Another common mistake I see among women is with their exercise program. This mistake can actually kill you faster and make the years you have more painful. Argh, right?
And sadly, I have seen women work really hard, and invest a lot of time into their health…only for all that effort to make things worse! Fortunately, it’s not too late to change your exercise program so you can kick your health, power, and confidence into overdrive.
P.S. If you want an easy way to get started with these changes I’m going to talk about, be sure to download our free 5 Minute Flow Video here.
If you are between the ages of 45 and 65, you were likely taught that the higher the heart rate, the more you sweat, the more calories burned (and fat melted), the better. Back in the 70’s and 80’s we all fell prey – and some still do – to the belief that if we exercise harder and longer, we will burn more calories and therefore lose weight.
Plain and simple, the research is there on what an effective exercise program looks like and it isn’t as simple as just burning as many calories as possible during a session. Weight training – or what I call “fighting gravity” – builds muscles and is a superior form of training for keeping you not only fit yet also lean. Building muscle:
Dr. Tara Allman, one of my favorite Menopause Specialists to the NYC stars says:
“Since muscle is much more efficient at burning calories, it behooves us to maintain what we’ve got left. We finally…come to the realization we cannot fit in our favorite clothes despite eating well and continuing our usual three days of aerobics class, something’s gotta give. That something, as it turns out, is strength training.”
While the American Heart Association now recommends 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week, it is because of your precious heart. Heart disease is still the top killer.
Fitness sessions for my clients reflect the philosophy that your body was meant to move in lots of different ways – and they are not the same every day. I emphasize not only what you do know how to do, but also will challenge you to work on what you don’t, while still giving you a bunch of what you want too! Fun is always a key ingredient of our program. If it’s not fun, you won’t stick to it. In fitness parlance, this “doing different things” is called “metabolic disturbance” (hint: fat loss!). For you, this means “shaking things up.” With Alexandria Wellness, you learn to jump, crawl, skip, roll, shuffle, and bounce forward and backward!
If there is anything you take away from this article, it’s that every muscle from head to toe must work in order to challenge your body for fat loss and maintenance. It’s important to work the entire body. Why leave out muscles when they all want a little dose of love?
In traditional chronic cardio-like programs, you run, spin, row, and get your heart rate up, yet adding in resistance training and fighting gravity is key for your heart, bone, and brain health. A cardio-only program will not help you “lose that 10 pounds.” It won’t burn fat any faster than weight training and is awfully hard on your stress level when not accompanied by ample recovery, mobility, and strength.
In order to lose fat, you must build (or maintain) muscle. You also need to challenge your body in multiple ways. I know weight training can be more challenging and you may need to pay closer attention instead of “losing yourself” for a little while. Strength training can even be uncomfortable – or less comfortable that cycling, shuffling, or running in place. My clients don’t check their brain at the door and nor should you when you exercise. You need to think, focus, and live “inside your body” bringing awareness to every move, step, pull, push, etc.
Since we’re ditching the old model of “more is better” and understanding that to be an effective workout, we don’t have to walk out of the gym drenched in sweat, here are some important points to take away:
The research is conclusive: we need to stress the body appropriately for growth, or it will deteriorate. This is actually a life or death situation. I have seen 45, 65, 75-year olds transform their lives and bodies by following our fun, simple process for health and vitality. If you’re reading this, you can do it too. If you want help making your exercise fun, easy, and rewarding, get started with our 5 Minute Flow Video here.
Start incorporating strength training into your exercise program. It’s never too late to start!
Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.
Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314