I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve had a woman tell me “I don’t want to bulk up and look like a man!” For most women, that’s just not possible. Regardless of how you feel about it, strength training is a key component to your overall health for men and women.
Good muscle tone helps to hold your body up, helps to support your bones, lessens the risk of falling and helps you burn more calories. It also helps you to look better!!
Don’t worry; you don’t have to spend hours at the gym lifting tons of weight to enjoy the benefits of strength training. As a matter of fact, you can do a few minutes a day and see results…AND you don’t have to have a bunch of fancy equipment either! If you don’t have any weights…look around your house. What do you have that will give your muscles resistance? Believe it or not, canned food is a great item to use. A gallon jug filled with water is one of the best things to use because you can start out with it half full (or less if need be) and add to it as you gain strength. Use it like you would a kettle ball or if you have two put one in each hand like free weights. Use your own body as resistance. Pushups, squats, lunges…all of these are great for building muscle without any equipment.
The key to not bulking up is to do high repetition with low weights. Trust me that can of green beans will feel like it weighs ten pounds after enough reps! Start out with 3 sets of 15 repetitions each. If that’s too easy, do more. The key is to work your muscles. Another thing that is helpful is to work big muscles in with little muscles. For instance combine squats with overhead presses, side lunges with forward arm lifts. By doing this, you burn more calories during your work out and build more muscle at the same time.
Now, I mentioned earlier that you can burn more calories by having more muscle. This is true but not to the extent that they used to think. Recent studies have shown that for every ten pounds of muscle you gain, you only burn about 100 calories….but that’s still significant when you want to stay healthy. The biggest gain you get as far as I’m concerned is the stability you will have. As we get older we lose muscle mass. It just happens as we age. As you lose muscle, you don’t have the strength to carry the weight of your bones. That’s why falls are so prevalent with the older generation. The good thing is, there’s something you can do about it. It’s called strength training. The saying goes “Take care of your body now, and it will take care of you later.” This is never more true than with strength training. You have to take care of your muscles, condition them, strengthen them and they will protect you later. And muscle just looks sexier! Now come on…you know it’s true! And you DO care! How many times have you turned around and looked at your bootie in the mirror and sighed because it was sagging? Do those squats and lunges and it will lift that tooshie right up!!
Please let me know if this has been helpful. If you have any questions about working out or getting healthy in general, please contact me. I’d be more than willing to answer any questions. If you have anything that you can add or comment on, please feel free to do so.