When you think of strength training, you may imagine yourself flexing bulky, manly muscles in the mirror. Don’t worry — building lean muscle won’t add bulk. Instead, it will tone your body, help burn fat and make you feel strong and sexy.
Strength training is important as we age to prevent muscle loss. After age 30, muscle mass decreases as much as three to five percent each decade. With less muscle mass, you’ll have less protection for your bones, and you’ll feel weaker, making it difficult to engage in physical activities and increasing your risk of injury.
However, it’s never too late to rebuild and maintain your muscles. With proper strength training, you will feel like you can take on the world again, regardless of your age.
Strength training for women has many great benefits, including:
- Improved metabolism
- Improved energy levels
- Improved sex drive
- Reduced risk of disease
- Reduced symptoms associated with chronic conditions
- Stronger bones
- Stronger heart
- Improved mood
- Better sleep
- Better appearance
- Improved balance and coordination
- Better flexibility
- Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
Strength training will help you lose fat and build lean muscle, and you will improve your health all around.
The question is — what goals do you want to reach through strength training? Know your goals before starting a weight loss program, and you’ll be motivated to succeed.
Choose goals that you can measure and give goals a deadline. Be realistic too. If you haven't exercised in years, set goals that start off slow and build to your desired fitness level.
Goals are used to keep us on track, and they help acknowledge the result of our effort. It feels great to reach our goals, especially when our goals involve better health. Our trainers at Excellence in Fitness Personal Training Studios strive to help you reach your fitness goals, no matter how big or how small.
Don’t forget to reward yourself along the way to reaching your goals. Buy yourself a new pair of heels to show off those sexy calves or treat yourself to a day at the spa. Give yourself and your body the love it deserves.
You know you can build lean muscle with strength training, but what about shedding hard-to-lose pounds? Although cardio exercise is necessary to get your heart pumping and your metabolism revving, you need strength training to tone your body and build muscle to support physical activity. Plus, muscle burns more calories than fat.
Strength training is especially important with calorie restriction because it helps prevent muscle loss. When cardio and strength training are combined, you will get amazing results for your body and mind.
One of the most common areas where women store fat is in the belly. Belly fat is no joke. It’s a dangerous fat because it increases the risk of diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Follow these tips to help lose belly fat and keep it off:
- Cut back on sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that women get no more than six teaspoons or 25 grams of sugar per day. Look out for hidden sugar in drinks and processed foods. Sugar comes in many forms such as corn syrup and sugar molecules like sucrose and fructose.
- Eat more protein. Use a protein calculator to help you determine your individual protein needs. Get more sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep a night for adults aged 26-64, and seven to eight hours per night for adults 65 or older.
- Cut back on alcohol. Alcohol has a lot of sugar and a lot of calories. It’s safe for women to have one drink per day or 12 ounces of beer or five ounces of wine. However, if your goal is to shed pounds, you may want to skip alcohol altogether.
- Get lots of fiber. Fiber will help you feel and stay full. Eat healthy fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. Women over age 50 need 21 grams of fiber per day.
- Replace bad fats with good fats. Good fats, or unsaturated fats, are a necessary part of healthy diet. Portioned amounts of olive oil, nuts or avocado can give your body the fuel it needs. Avoid saturated fats like those found in pizza, ice cream
and fried foods.
- Eat small meals frequently rather than three large meals. If you spread your calories more evenly throughout the day, you’ll feel less hungry, and your metabolism will have an easier time burning up calories.
- Relax. Take time to pamper yourself and take a deep breath. High stress can lead you down the path to more belly fat. Stress causes the production of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol, in turn, causes strong cravings for comfort foods like candy and french fries. The less stress you have, the easier it’ll be to resist cravings.
- Keep a food journal. If you write down what you eat, you are more aware of what you’re consuming throughout the day, and you’ll be less likely to indulge.
As strength training alone won’t eliminate belly fat, it will boost your metabolism. A pound of muscle uses about six calories a day to maintain itself. On the other hand, fat only burns about two calories per day.
Here are other ways to get your metabolism to blast calories no matter what your age is:
- Drink lots of water. Women should aim to get about 11.5 cups of water per day. If you’re exercising and sweating, make sure to increase your fluid intake. If you want to boost your metabolism even more, try to drink an extra 1.5 liters of water a day. You could burn five pounds a year.
- Again, add more protein to your diet. Your body burns more calories when it digests protein than it does with carbs and fat. A high-protein diet has been shown to result in an extra 80 to 100 calories burned each day. Protein also helps curb cravings and keep you feeling full.
- Have fun with spices. Adding spices can make a dish more colorful and flavorful, and it speeds up metabolism by raising body heat. Mix some of these spices into your meals for extra metabolism power:
- Black pepper
- Drink caffeine in moderation. Use coffee and green tea to help boost metabolism and energize you, but try not to overdo it. You may wind up burning 17 percent more calories during a workout as the result of drinking two to four cups of green tea before exercising, simply because the tea will give you more energy. Avoid adding too much sugar to your coffee or tea, and if you can drink it unsweetened, even better.
- Combine strength training with cardio. This will get your heart pumping and build muscle for optimum metabolism speed.
When it comes to blasting belly fat and boosting metabolism, the trick is to get moving and nourish your body with clean and healthy fuel.
You may have heard of heard of core training here and there, but maybe you aren't sure why a strong core is important for overall health and fitness. Core muscles are the muscles that give your body the support it needs. They include the muscles that support your spine, abdominal muscles and your side muscles or obliques.
It’s important to have a strong core when participating in physical activities or working out. If your core is weak, you’ll struggle to carry out your favorite activities or fat-burning exercises. It’s ok if you need help rebuilding your core. Our professional trainers will work with you to build up your strength so you can reach all of your fitness goals.
It’s especially important for women over age 50 to strengthen their core so they can continue to carry out daily activities and live their lives to the fullest. There are a lot of benefits to core training programs for women over 50 that you may have otherwise overlooked. Here are some reasons to focus your attention on your core:
- Freedom to enjoy the activities you love. Do you enjoy kayaking, swimming or riding a bike? If you haven’t felt strong enough to engage in these activities, don’t worry. We can help you build up your core muscles again and get you out of the house and having fun.
-Better balance. As we age, our risk of injury increases. However, the stronger your core, the better you can protect yourself if you fall. With a strong core, you are more able to prevent falls from happening in the first place.
- Regular daily activities. You may not realize it, but you use core muscles to do everything from sitting in a chair to getting dressed in the morning. If you want to keep yourself independent for as long as you can, start strengthening your core now.
- Reduce or eliminate back pain. That’s right — you can get rid of back pain by strengthening your core. An EIF trainer can develop a routine designed to strengthen your back and relieve pain. You’ll enjoy better posture too.
A strong core will help you meet your weight loss goals because it will give you the support you need to adopt a healthy lifestyle and keep exercise part of your life. Plus, you can do exercise that is fun for you, and you’ll be more likely to
stick to a routine.
It’s true that exercising when you’re in your fifties is different than when you exercised in your twenties, at least at first. You may be afraid to push yourself in fear of injury or back pain. At EIF, we understand what your body needs to burn fat and get fit while protecting you from harm.
For example, it’s not a good idea for someone over 50 to make sit-ups part of their routine, as this might lead to neck or back injury. We understand how to customize a plan to your current fitness level and age. Nevertheless, no matter what your age, it’s always the right time to get in better shape.
To help prevent exercise-related injury, make sure to:
- Warm-up before working out. You want to make sure to ease into your exercise routine instead of starting with high-intensity moves.
- Stretch throughout the day. Stretching will help improve your flexibility and prevent injury when it comes time
to work out.
- Listen to your body. If you’re experiencing pain or soreness, give yourself a break. Take at least one day off a week to rest. If you feel you need more time to recover, give yourself an extra day.
You always want to pay special attention to your back. A lot of people suffer from chronic back pain, and they are afraid that exercise is going to make their backs feel worse. In fact, about 80 percent of adults experience back pain at some point in their life. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, back pain is most common among those who are not physically fit.
The truth is, with the guidance of a professional trainer, exercise and strength training can help your back pain, not make it worse.
We use the patented MedX Core Spinal Fitness System to reach and strengthen lower back muscles that regular exercises can’t reach. Strengthening core muscles gives greater support to the spine and hips, relieves pain and helps prevent injury.
MedX workout systems have helped others achieve a life free of back pain, even when other exercises have failed. Strengthening your back will allow you to:
Enjoy physical activities you may have avoided in fear of back pain. End a reliance on painkillers. Painkillers don’t solve the underlying issue, but strengthening your muscles might. Improve your mental health. Don’t let back pain control your life and happiness. By improving your core muscles with MedX, you’ll feel more confident, happier and free to do the things you want to do. Transform your entire body. Without the constant threat of back pain, you'll be able to move and exercise any part of your body.
Age and back pain are not reasons to avoid getting in shape. On the contrary, they are reasons to start working out today.
Besides strength training and cardio exercise, what you eat will determine whether or not your fat loss is a success. As we age, we can’t eat as much as we did in our twenties because our metabolism slows down and we lose muscle mass. We need to adjust our diets to our years.
Follow these tips to lose weight and get the nutrition you need:
- Calculate calories. A sedentary woman 50 or older needs 1,600 calories day — 1,800 if she’s moderately active, or up to 2,200 for an active lifestyle. Caloric needs vary with the individual. There are plenty of free online tools to help you determine the number of calories you need to maintain, lose or gain weight.
- Eat the right foods. Avoid processed foods and foods high in sugar, salt and saturated fats. Lean protein and fiber will help you feel full. Complex carbs, such as those found in leafy greens and whole grains, will give you the energy you need. Boost your calcium intake with low-fat dairy, and make sure to leave plenty of room for antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and veggies.
- If you’re strength training, you need protein to help build your muscles. Some of the best protein sources for weight training are eggs, fish and lean cuts of meat. Make protein your go-to snack, and if you are eating carbohydrates, pair them with protein.
- Drink lots of water. Water will help you stay full and keeps your metabolism up to speed. Make sure to drink 16 ounces or two cups of water two hours before working out. Sip water throughout your workout to keep your energy going and prevent dehydration.
- Take a daily multivitamin to help fill in any nutritional gaps. Be sure your multivitamin is designed for your age group because women over 50 need less iron than younger women.
Losing weight and getting fit is about taking control of your eating and exercise habits. Make health and happiness a priority — you deserve it!
At EIF, we believe in empowering people to reach their weight-loss goals no matter what their age or current fitness level. A professional trainer will work will you one-on-one to design a fitness and weight-loss plan that’s tailored to your individual needs and goals.
We’ll help you tone and strengthen your body safely with motivating and expert guidance in our fat loss programs for women over 50. You’ll boost your metabolism, burn fat and improve your overall health.
At EIF, we understand that successful weight loss is a process and requires strength training, core training, cardio and proper nutrition to work together as a whole. It may seem overwhelming at first, and that’s why we are here to help you overcome all your weight loss and exercise hurdles.
There’s no better time to get started than now. Contact one of our friendly team members today and reclaim health, confidence and a little bit of attitude!