Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

breakthestereotypeI’m amazed at how many women wish they could ditch their dinner lady arms, fat tummies and thighs yet are afraid to lift weights in case they end up with looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. This cannot happen unless you train to look like that, eat a hell of a lot of protein and and take supplements specifically so you can look like that and it takes years.

Strength training holds incredible benefits such as:

  • building muscle mass
  • improving performance
  • burning fat
  • strengthening bones
  • preventing injury

With benefits like that, it’s a wonder more of us aren’t lifting. For those of you who haven’t tried weight training before, here are a few tips to get you started.

Form, form, form!
In strength training, form is everything. Proper form ensures that not only are you targeting the correct muscles, getting the most out of the exercise, but that you’re guarding yourself against injury.

Don’t be too fancy
What I mean by this is – stick to the basics. As with anything, there is a huge variety of strength training moves you can perform. Don’t get tempted to be doing all types of advanced compound movements right away – you’ll get there. Stick to the basics to begin with. They’re timeless classics and will deliver results just the same.

Here are some classic moves to incorporate into your routine.

  • squats
  • lunges
  • dead-lifts
  • curls
  • rows
  • presses
  • pull downs

Build up your strength
Focus on getting stronger, not performing a ton of reps. If you focus on getting stronger, you can gradually increase weight while keeping your form in tact. You should lift at a weight where you are only able to complete 5-10 reps so that you can set a solid foundation and build strength for different types of workouts.

Don’t believe the myths
By lifting weights, you will NOT get “bulky” or “manly.” Extra fat is what makes women appear bulky, not muscle! Muscle burns fat, so by building muscle, you will begin to shed more fat. That means, you’ll looked more toned. Not like a rugby player. Try to keep away from the scales for a while. They will do your head in at first.

Commit 
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed …… most things in life don’t happen overnight. Stick to strength training to see results. It takes time, but is worth it.

Be Proud
I know that making your way to the weight area can be intimidating. I’ve felt it but don’t let that get in the way of your workout. The only way to deal with the intimidation factor? Just go do what you came to do. Listen to your music, be in your zone. You’ll get more comfortable. All that matters is you’re in there doing your best. I’ve also found that there are a lot of guys willing to help if you ask. Don’t be intimidated.

Follow a programme and keep a log
Ask the experts if in doubt. This will also help you commit to your goals and stay on track. You can arrange a personal trainer session or, if you’re looking to save money, review some of the sites online, there’s plenty of them and some have great video tutorials to follow.This is one of my favourites:-

Keeping a log also means you can see how you are improving. I keep a log of my sets, how much I can lift and my measurements.

Enjoy it
You’re doing something so great for your body. Weight training is satisfying and fun. Embrace the burn and enjoy the process.

So, have I convinced you? Let me know how you get on!

SF out.

 

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Me aged 5

Me aged 5! I had big hair back then too!

I’m 50 today (I’m still only about 25 in my head mind you). It’s not really a big deal. I thought I would wake up and feel different, or have some sort of epiphany but it was not to be.  I was going to write something about how 50 is the new 40 or how I’m embracing my age blah blah blah blah or how I have learnt to love me (puke) but I just can’t be bothered. So instead, I’m going to give you my view on two things that are definitely age related.

Wrinkles

They are everywhere and there seem to be a plethora of adverts promising that THEIR CREAM will definitely definitely reduce the appearance of wrinkes using some made up rubbishy science word. Truth is, you can’t stop them appearing. In fact, as each year passes the process seems to speed up. They appear in the most unusual places too. The one place that surprised me the most was my in-steps! Strangely, I quite like having wrinkly in-steps. Here are my tips for a care-free attitude to wrinkles:

  • Wherever possible only look at yourself in flattering lighting and learn how to apply make-up (I never have , mainly because I’ve been unable to overcome my fear of those scary cosmetic women in department stores).
  • Spending time examining them in the mirror only leads to spotting even more. It’s like when you look at stars in the night sky. You see a few at first, then all of a sudden you can’t see anything but stars.
  • Put olive oil on them but don’t go near the dog afterwards or they want to lick your face. Oh important safety tip here: don’t put olive oil on them if you’re going out in the sun.
  • Avoid the sun when you’re young and wear factor 200 (or a balaclava). Although, don’t bother now if, like me, you spent your childhood and teenage years either basting yourself in tanning oil, or using tinfoil to get a brown face.
  • Distract attention from your wrinkles by the clever use of hats, scarves, necklaces, large glasses (a la Eric Morecambe styley).
  • Don’t bother with botox. It’s makes your face look really weird. (No, I haven’t had it done but I know some people who have and they are very scary when they try to smile.

Oh and while we’re on the subject – hand cream? Hand cream doesn’t do anything to stop your hands being wrinkly. Anyone remember that Atrixo advert with the leaf demonstration? Rubbish! Yes, your hansd will be soft, but they’ll be softly wrinkled ‘;).

Memory

It seems as if everyone is getting Alzheimer’s or will be getting it. Experts (we never know who these experts are I notice) say that your memory deteriorates as you get older. Very true but I thought they meant older older! Now I’m trying to work out whether I just have a crap memory or early onset Alzheimer’s. Who knows? No-one that’s who.

I prefer to think of it as my brain dumping a load of rubbish in it’s internal waste basket that it thinks I don’t need only to find that I wanted to access it but it’s already emptied the basket (you can tell I work in IT) so has to get it back from the delete folder. So, you will, at some point, experience some of these:

  • You will forget why you went into a room.
  • You will forget where you left stuff.
  • You will forget your name when someone asks you. I have a back-up name in case. It’s Gwendoline De Pugh.
  • You will go into the supermarket for bread and toilet roll (chanting that in your head so you don’t forget) and come out with a bakewell tart and a jar of olives.
  • Putting your car keys in the fridge is ok as long as you remember that you did at some point.
  • You will wake up in the middle of the night convinced you left the grill on or forgot to lock the door. You stumble downstairs only to find that you DID lock the door, you DID turn off the grill. You just forgot that you did.
Me last night, still 49!

Me last night, still 49! In my new galabeya

Hold it! Stop stop stop. You know what? I think it’s time I had a word with myself. Why am I even bothering with all this? So what if I have wrinkles? So what if my memory ain’t what it used to be? What do you care if I am a little bit OCD. I like making sure my “R” headphone is in my right ear and my “L” headphone is in my left. What’s it to ya?

The important thing for me is that I did what I promised myself I would do. I promised myself I wouldn’t be a 50-year old fat smoker and I’m not. I’m fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been.

Fat Wendy 2003

On board Atlantis 2003

That’s me on the left last night wearing my newest bellydance outfit. A lovely galabeya from Egypt. And that’s me on the right when we moved onto Atlantis in 2003. Not a pretty sight!

All I really want is to continue to take care of the good things in my life and ignore the irritating stuff as much as I can.  As long you are healthy (mind, body and spirit) and happy that’s all that matters. And if you’re not, do what you can to change it so that you are.

When I was younger in my darkest days I used to listen incessantly to Depeche Mode and The The. Their sons spoke to me and seemed to relate to the things going on my life. One The The song that seemed to epitomise my life back then was I’ve Been Waiting For Tomorrow.  If you want to know why, ask me sometime. Listening to it this morning I realised how much I’ve changed and in some ways how I haven’t changed one bit.

I hope you enjoy it.

SF out!
xx