Diet and exercise go hand in hand, but diets are often associated with women while exercise regimens tend to be geared toward men. But exercise is just as important for women as it is for men, which is why women must find the right balance between diet and exercise to achieve their weight-loss goals.
Feel the burn of strength training
Cardiovascular exercise is important, but women need more iron in their weight-loss regimens, specifically the type of iron found on the weight bench. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, roughly 21 percent of women strength train two or more times a week. Skipping strength-training exercises eliminates one of the fastest ways to see measurable weight loss. Two sessions per week of strength-training exercises can reduce overall body fat by around 3 percent in as little as 10 weeks. Such exercises can trim inches off of your hips and waist, even if you aren't cutting calories from your diet.
Muscle also helps burn calories even when you're not working out. A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who completed an hour-long workout that included strength training burned an extra 100 calories in the 24 hours following a workout than they in the 24 hours after a workout that did not include strength training. This post-workout calorie burn is commonly referred to as "afterburn," and it increases exponentially when women lift more weight for less repetitions instead of lifting lighter weight for more repetitions.
Choose the right strength-training workouts
It may be easy to find a problem area on your body and target that area with certain exercises (think crunches for belly fat). But this is not the best course of action. It's better to work an array of muscles in an exercise session rather than focusing on one particular area. The following exercises can help women build lean muscle and stimulate the afterburn of a good workout.
* Pushups: Pushups are the bane to many a woman's existence. However, pushups and stationary pushups, called "plank" exercises, fire up core muscles in the back and stomach. They also promote shoulder and arm strength, eliminating the need for bicep curls and other arm exercises. If pushups are difficult for you, start out on your knees and work up to doing pushups on your toes. As you build strength, you will find it easier to do pushups and notice your arms have added muscle and tone.
* Lunges and squats: Lunges and squats target some of the largest muscles in your body, which are found in the legs and backside gluteus muscles. Lunges will also work the adductors and abductors of your inner and outer thighs. Not only do these exercises promote strength training in major muscle groups, they require balance provided by engaging core muscles in the abdomen. Your heart rate will increase when these larger muscles are being used at the same time, which means you're getting a cardiovascular workout at the same time as you strength train.
* Rowing: Instead of spending 30 minutes on the elliptical machine at the gym, use a rowing machine. In addition to the cardiovascular benefits that rowing provides, you will be working the muscles of the arms, back, shoulders, legs, and abdomen while you row. Rowing machines work more of the body than more traditional cardiovascular machines.
By including strength-training exercises in a workout and choosing activities that work the maximum number of muscle groups at the same time, women will see a more profound weight loss in a shorter period of time.
Posted on Fri, January 2, 2015
by Metro Creative