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Exercise is good for your brain

Many of its effects may go unnoticed, but if you could look inside the heads of people who like to keep active, you’d see that different exercises strengthen, shape and mould the brain in multiple ways.

That the brains of exercisers look different to those that don’t is not new news. We have known that for years – especially aerobic exercise and its impact on Parkinson’s disease and depression, and we know this is at least in part because getting your heart beating faster increases blood flow and so brings more oxygen, growth factors, hormones and nutrients to your brain, leading it — like your muscles, lungs and heart — to grow stronger and more efficient.

However, more recently researchers have found more specific effects related to different kinds of exercise. For example, high-intensity intervals, aerobic exercise, weight training, yoga and sports drills are effecting different areas of the brain.

The standard recommendation is for 30 minutes of moderate, aerobic exercise a day, for the sake of your brain. But there may be benefits to going slower or faster,to lifting weights, or performing yoga or Tai Chi. Whether you want to improve your concentration, to learn to relax better or want to stop smoking, there’s help for you.

 e.g. We know resistance training helps improve complex thoughts, problem-solving and multitasking.

We have known for over a decade that exercise leads to a boost in , areas of the brain essential for memory. That’s because exercise causes hippocampal neurons to pump out a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes the growth of new neurons. This allows for improvements in memory. Older adults who do aerobic exercise three times a week grow larger hippocampi and perform better in memory tests. It now seems that aerobic exercise such as running and cycling may help  and other forms of dementia.

Teal Burrell reported the following:-

“Teresa Liu-Ambrose at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, has been looking for ways to halt dementia in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a population of adults known to be at increased risk of developing dementia, and was especially interested in strength training, which has in recent years been added to US and UK government recommendations for physical activity.
To test the idea, Liu-Ambrose compared the effects of aerobic exercise and strength training in 86 women with MCI. She measured their impact on two abilities known to decline as the condition progresses: memory and executive function — which encompasses complex thought processes, including reasoning, planning, problem-solving and multitasking.
Twice a week for an hour, one group lifted weights, while the other went for brisk walks quick enough that talking required effort. A control group just stretched for an hour instead. After six months of this, both walking and lifting weights had a positive effect on spatial memory — the ability to remember one’s surroundings and sense of place.

On top of that, each exercise had unique benefits. The group that lifted weights saw significant improvements to executive function. They also performed better in tests of associative memory, which is used for things like linking someone’s name to their face. The aerobic-exercise group saw improvements to verbal memory — the ability to remember that word you had on the tip of your tongue. Simply stretching had no effect on either memory or executive function.

If aerobic exercise and strength training have distinct benefits, is combining them the way to go? To address this, Willem Bossers of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands split 109 people with dementia into three groups. One group walked briskly four times a week for 30 minutes; a combination group walked twice a week and strength-trained twice a week for 30 minutes each; and a control group did no exercise. After nine weeks, Bossers put the participants through a battery of executive-function tests that measured problem-solving, inhibition and processing speed. He found that the combination group showed more than the aerobic-only or control groups. “It seems that, for older adults, walking only is not enough. They need to do some strength training,” he says.
And these benefits extend to healthy adults too. 

In a year-long trial of healthy older women, Liu-Ambrose found that lifting weights, even just once a week, resulted in a significant boost to executive function. Balancing and toning exercises, on the other hand, did not.
The combination of lifting weights and aerobic exercise might be particularly powerful because strength training triggers the release of a molecule called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a growth hormone produced in the liver that is known to effect communication between brain cells and to promote the growth of new neurons and blood cells. On the other hand, aerobic exercise mainly boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor
(BDNF), says Liu-Ambrose.
In addition, Bossers says strength training also decreases levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory molecule that is increased in the brains of older adults with dementia. By combining aerobic exercise with strength training, you’re getting a more potent neurobiological cocktail. “You’re attacking the system in two ways,” he says.
The studies so far haven’t addressed how long the effects last, but preliminary findings suggest adults will have to keep exercising to maintain the benefits.

But we should start young, with findings that different types of exercise affect a child’s mental capacity in a number of ways. For example, if you want a child to focus for an hour — for a test — the best bet is to let them have a quick run around first. That’s according to studies that show a simple 20-minute walk has immediate effects on children’s attention, executive function and achievement in mathematics and reading tests. Letting kids sprint or skip about has the same effect. A brisk walk can also help children with ADHD to focus, although again it’s not yet clear how long the effects last.

These findings should be used to make decisions about the daily school routine, says Charles Hillman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who carried out some of the research. He agrees with current recommendations that children get at least an hour of exercise daily, but notes that it might be best spread over the course of the day. Because purely aerobic exercise keeps kids focused in the near term, giving them breaks to walk or move around every 2 hours might be the best way to promote learning.

In contrast, exercise that is highly structured and focused on specific skills, such as for a sport or to improve coordination, hamper attention. A lot of drills and rules may be too taxing for children right before a test or a situation that requires sustained focus.

Instead, these kinds of specific exercises seem to build up attention span gradually over the long-term. In research yet to be published, Maria Chiara Gallotta at the University of Rome in Italy found that twice-weekly sessions of coordinative exercises, such as basketball, volleyball or gymnastics practice, over the course of five months helped children do better on tests that required concentration and the ignoring of distractions.
The cerebellum — the finely wrinkled structure at the base of the brain — has been long known to be involved in coordinating movement, but is now recognised as having a role in attention as well. Practising complicated movements activates the cerebellum and, by working together with the frontal lobe, might improve attention in the process.

Making sure children are physically fit can have lasting cognitive benefits too, says Hillman. He has shown that children who are fit  have larger hippocampi and basal ganglia, and that they perform better in attention tests. The basal ganglia are a group of structures important for movement and goal-directed behaviour — turning thoughts into actions. They interact with the prefrontal cortex to influence attention, inhibition and executive control, helping people to switch between two tasks, such as going from sorting cards by colour to sorting cards by suit.
Hillman focuses on children aged 8 to 11 because areas like the hippocampi and basal ganglia are still maturing, so intervening at a young age can make a big difference and even small gains in fitness lead to measurable changes in the brain. In some of his studies, Hillman has put kids on year-long after-school fitness programmes. Many are overweight, and while they don’t lose much weight, their brains do change. They’re going from being unfit to slightly less unfit, says Hillman. “But we’re still finding benefits to brain function and cognition.”

Adults too can reap brain gains from sporty challenges – research on older adults showed an increase in basal ganglia volume following coordination exercises that included balancing, synchronising arm and leg movements, and manipulating props like ropes and balls, but not from aerobic exercise. Voelcker-Rehage found that these types of exercise improved visual-spatial processing , required for mentally approximating distances — for instance, being able to assess whether you have time to cross the street before an oncoming car reaches you — more than aerobic exercise. 

Another explanation comes from recent research by Tracy and Ross Alloway, both at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. They found that just a couple of hours of activity of the type we often enjoy during childhood, such as climbing trees, crawling along a beam, or running barefoot, had a dramatic effect on working memory.
This is the ability to hold on to information and manipulate it in our minds at the same time. 

“It prioritises and processes information, allowing us to ignore what is irrelevant and work with what is important,” says Tracy Alloway. “Working memory influences nearly everything that you do, from the classroom to the boardroom.”
So what is it about climbing trees or beam balancing that is so beneficial? The researchers only found positive results when the activities were a combination of two things. They needed to challenge the sense of proprioception — the position and orientation of the body — and also needed at least one other element, such as navigation, calculation or locomotion. Basically, the advantages came from exercises in which we need to balance and think at the same time. 

The more we learn about the effects of exercise on the brain, the more different types of benefits are emerging, extending beyond cognition to changes in behaviour.
One of the most popular fitness trends of the last few years is high-intensity interval training, HiiT, which involves quick spurts of all-out exercise. Its sheer toughness is claimed to provide the same benefits as longer efforts in a fraction of the time.
These workouts might have an extra advantage: short bursts of activity can help curb cravings. And although the tougher the better, they don’t necessarily have to be gut-bustingly hard.
To test the effects of intensity training on appetites, Kym Guelfi at the University of Western Australia in Perth invited overweight men to come into the lab on four separate occasions. On three of the visits, they spent 30 minutes on an exercise bike, but at different intensities — a moderate, continuous pace; alternating between intervals of high-intensity cycling for 1 minute followed by 4 minutes of moderate cycling; or alternating between very high intensity, 15-second sprints followed by one really easy minute. The fourth visit consisted of resting for the full 30 minutes.
After the most intense intervals, the men ate less of the provided, post-workout porridge and less food overall for the next day and a half compared with days they cycled moderately or simply rested.
One explanation could be that the exercise reduced levels of the “hunger hormone”, ghrelin. This is responsible for telling the part of the brain that controls eating — the hypothalamus — when the stomach is empty. When full, ghrelin production shuts off and hunger wanes. Following the most intense intervals of exercise, ghrelin levels were lowest. 

What is clear is that these effects can endure well into old age, and it’s never too late to start. The hippocampus shrinks as we get older, leading to the typical struggles with memory. But aerobic exercise not only prevents this loss — it reverses it, slowing the effects of getting older. Voelcker-Rehage has found that the brain requires less energy to complete certain tasks after exercise. “We would say that points to the fact that the brain is more efficient,” she says. “It works more like a young brain.” 

If you’re still unsure which type of exercise to pick, there’s some overlap between the different exercises and benefits, so Liu-Ambrose’s suggestion is simple: “If you’re not active, do something that you enjoy.” 

The best exercise is the kind that you’ll actually do.”

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How to eat to support your resistance training 

Let’s take a look at what your nutrition needs are when you are training. Our food is made up of macronutrients – Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats and we need to support this intake of macronutrients with the right intake of vitamins and minerals if we are to get the best results from our training.

Let’s look at them one at a time:-

Protein

Protein is the most important macronutrient our body needs. It is involved in the most important processes taking place in our body, it constitutes most of our tissues and it is essential to proper functioning of our bodies. If you are training and want to optimise your results then you need to optimise the amounts of this essential nutrient you consume if you are to enhance your performance, optimize your muscle mass and achieve your goals.
The amount of protein you need to eat depends on your overall physical activity. If you are more active you will require more – Athletes would require a lot higher amount than those who are living a sedentary lifestyle. If you are doing regular resistance training then 1 – 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight per day is recommended. The best time to consume protein is thought to be “post workout”, this is known as the “anabolic time window” and is thought to be the first few hours after training. If you wish to lose weight then again there is research that indicates a diet high in protein is beneficial. Whilst it may be more palatable for most to spread protein intake over the day research has shown that there may be benefits to muscle protein retention to eating a meal with up to 70+% of our daily protein needs in it!!

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the second vital macronutrient. They are our bodies primary energy source and a vital component and are essential in everyones diet (especially those who train). You will need to seek the advice of someone with some expertise in nutrition if you wish to get a fairly good estimate on how much carbs you need to consume (it will very much depend on your fitness goals). Different types of carbs may be beneficial at different times of the day. For example,fast carbs are an excellent post-workout choice, while slow carbs should be eaten throughout the day. Complex  carbs are almost always the best choice since they are slow-digesting and maintain steady blood sugar levels, do not cause insulin spikes, and so keep your energy levels steady throughout the day. 

But stop eating two or three hours before you go to sleep. It’s been proven to increase human growth hormone.

Fats

They are not the enemy! This is a myth. Fats are one of the three essential macronutrients, along with protein and carbs, that our body can’t do without. Fat deficiency can cause increased appetite, increased cancer and heart disease risk, depression and high cholesterol. What’s more, fat is very satiating and can reduce your food cravings for a longer period of time. Contrary to popular belief, fats can be quite beneficial if you consume the healthy ones, and sometimes it’s the carbs that you need to be more wary of. However, not all fats are created equal. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered as better than saturated fats, and saturated fats are better than artificial trans fats which are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to increase their shelf life and make them solid, easy to use and inexpensive to produce. In fact, trans fats are the ones that should be avoided at all costs, while all other fats deserve their rightful place in a healthy diet since they offer plenty of health-promoting benefits, such as increasing the metabolic rate and stimulating the burning of excess body fat.

Minerals and Vitamins

Minerals offer a tremendous benefit to your weight loss and muscle building efforts and to your overall health. From the long list of minerals you should consume specifically you should seek out magnesium, potassium and zinc. However, You should consume as diverse an array of vitamins as possible, including vitamin b complex (all B Vitamins), Vitamin D (which can  boost testosterone levels), Vitamin A, Vitamin C and many others.

So what would a good day look like if you were to follow these simple nutrition principles?

Let’s take a look:-

BREAKFAST

2 scrambled eggs

2 slices of whole grain toast

1/2 a sliced or mashed Avacado

LUNCH

1 Chicken breast fillet

Mixed leaf salad

Olive Oil/balsamic vinegar dressing

Handful of mixed nuts

Apple or a Pear

DINNER

1 Salmon Fillet

Mixed steamed veg

1 medium sized baked potato

SNACKS

mid morning or mid afternoon or following a training session

Cottage Cheese, or

a piece of fruit
, or

A handful of nuts
, or

Smoothie type drinks that are protein based i.e. Commercially available whey protein shakes, veg based drinks ie super greens (again commercially available varieties or blend your own with Kale, spinach etc. (Lots of recipes can be found online). Just be sure to keep a close watch on the carb content – it needs to be protein heavy not carb heavy. 

To ensure you are eating in the right proportions you will need to know you height and weight, you will need to be honest about your daily activity levels and you will need to access one of the many apps or online formulas for determining your macros. In essence you need to know your base metabolism, add the calorific cost of your days’ activities to arrive at your daily calorie need and then work out your protein and fat and fill the rest of your calorie requirement with carbs (hence looking for an app to do your macros for you is a cheap and convenient way to get on your way to better nutrition. My Macros+ app is worth a look).  

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Resistance training is just ridiculously good for you.

Resistance training – It’s one of the very few ways to make bones denser, a perk that is especially important for women. Lifting something, like a dumbbell, makes bones bear more weight, and in exercise, stressing your bones is a good thing (providing you are sensible about the “how”). Bones are constantly remodelling as any exercise physiologist will explain. Your body is always adding calcium to your bones and taking calcium away from your bones.

This delicate balance starts to tip as people age, and then you lose more mineral from the bone than you’re able to lay down. Over time, bone gets less dense and more brittle and prone to osteoporosis, a condition that is estimated to affect 200 million women worldwide – approximately one-tenth of women aged 60, one-fifth of women aged 70, two-fifths of women aged 80 and two-thirds of women aged 90. Women have smaller, thinner bones than men from the start, and after menopause they lose oestrogen, a hormone that protects bones.

Resistance training also comes with the less visible benefit of lowering risk for several diseases. The only real way we can increase our metabolism, unless we take drugs, is to lift weights and maintain or increase our lean mass. Doing so makes the body more sensitive to insulin, and therefore more durable against certain diseases.

Recent research suggests that resistance training may lower a woman’s risk for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In a 2016 study, researchers from Harvard Medical School and the National Institutes of Health used data from nearly 36,000 older women, who ranged in age from 47 to 98. The women filled out questionnaires for about a decade detailing their health and exercise levels, and one question asked women to estimate how much weightlifting or strength training they had done per week in the past year. The researchers then tracked which of the women had a heart attack or stroke and which developed Type 2 diabetes.

Whether or not a woman did muscle-strengthening exercises indicated a lot about her health. Compared with women who avoided it, those who did any amount of strength training were more likely to have a lower body mass index and a healthier diet and less likely to be a current smoker.

They also had a Type 2 diabetes risk that was 30% lower and a cardiovascular disease risk 17% lower than those who did no strength training, even after the researchers controlled for other variables like age, diet and physical activity. That in itself is a good enough reason to start doing some resistance training!!

Adding aerobic exercise helped drive both risks down even more. Those who did at least 120 minutes a week of aerobic exercise and some strength training had a Type 2 diabetes risk 65% lower than women who didn’t do either. So don’t stop the cardio, just add some resistance training to it.

Most people should do both kinds of exercise, but if you had to choose one pick resistance training. Cardio may be more agreeable, and less intimidating, but you also get less and less out of it over time. As you grow fitter, you have to do more and more aerobic exercise to see gains. Resistance training is simply the most efficient exercise for those with limited time.

Resistance training comes in many accessible forms — many of which don’t require a gym membership and don’t require a personal trainer. Resistance bands, (cheap strips of elastic that loop around arms or legs), are one good way to build strength without weights, for instance. A 2017 study showed that when frail women over 60 who were obese worked out with resistance bands for three months, they dropped body fat and increased bone density. Another option that involves even less equipment is to use your own body weight. Chair squat (standing up in front of a chair and sitting down until you just touch the front edge of the seat of the chair) many times builds strength, as does jumping, which uses many of the legs’ major muscles. Even walking can count as strength training, depending on the intensity.

The right type and amount will be different for every woman (and man, for that matter), but a little bit every day will do wonders. Not only will you look better than when you first started, but you will also feel really confident. Strength training opens up your thoughts to more positive thinking.

So….

You can start with your bodyweight.

Put simply strength training means using resistance to create work for your muscles. So there are a lot of ways to create this resistance that requires minimal equipment (or none at all). Bodyweight workouts can be an incredibly effective, yet simple, way to strength train, try squats and push-ups to begin with. You can also use tools like dumbbells, medicine balls, TRX bands, resistance bands, and kettlebells. But if that sounds complicated don’t worry about it. Keep it simple and focus on equipment-free routines first. No matter what you do, the most important thing is to find something that challenges you.

Begin with two days a week and build up.

Start with two days for two to three weeks, then add a third day. Ideally, you should strength train three to five days per week, but work your way up — starting off at five days a week might come as a real shock your body!!

Aim to complete 20-minute sessions, then gradually add on time in ten-minute increments until you’re working for 45 to 60 minutes.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should not do any cardio. 150 minutes of light-to-moderate work or 75 minutes a week of high-intensity work is recommended for good health. Finding the right mix of workouts will depend very much on your own specific goals.

Prepare your muscles before you start.

A proper warm-up is an important part of an effective strength workout. Start by foam rolling your muscles. Foam rolling loosens up tight muscles so that they work the way they’re designed to. A dynamic warm-up is another important part of your pre-workout routine, it preps your muscles for the work they’re about to do and helps increase your range of motion. Increasing your range of motion allows you to go deeper into those squats and fully extend those bicep curls, which means more muscle recruitment and better results. These two combined reduce your risk of injury and allow you to push harder during your workout.

Pair an upper-body move with a lower-body move.

You may have heard people in the gym talk about things like “leg day,” but when it comes to a beginner strength workout that’s only a few days a week, a full-body workout is best (rather than splitting your days up by body part). Full-body workouts maximize your caloric burn and the muscles worked each session. The best way to do this is to pair one upper body exercise with one lower body exercise. This allows the lower body time to recover while the upper body works and vice-versa. You should also aim for a balance between movements that feel like pulling and ones that feel like pushing. For example, you could pair these exercises together:

Squats + push-ups

Walking lunges + lat pulldowns

Romanian deadlifts + overhead press

Mountain climber + bench row

Aim for 10 reps and 3 sets per exercise.

When you’re just getting started try to keep things simple. Performing 10 reps (repetitions of the movement) and three sets of each (doing those 10 reps 3 times) is a good place to start, explains Davis. You can mix it up as you get more comfortable with the moves and need more of a challenge.

So, for example, with the moves above you’d do 10 squats followed by 10 push-ups. Take a 60 90 second rest and repeat that 2 more times. Then you move on to your walking lunges and lat pull-downs (and repeat those 3 times total, too). You can really do anywhere from eight reps to 15 (and even just two sets, if you don’t have time for three), but it’s not a bad idea for beginners to start with a 10-rep range to get comfortable with the exercise. And while there’s some debate over whether three sets of an exercise is really best it is a simple, easy to follow model for a beginner.

When you’re using weights, here’s how much weight you should start lifting.

Different exercises do require different weights, but there are some markers that can help guide you towards the right resistance, whether you’re using dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell. Go for a weight that is heavy enough to challenge you, but not so heavy that you can’t do it with the correct technique. For example, if you’re doing 10 reps, you should feel pretty fatigued by the time you hit rep 10. If you can breeze through all your reps, though, that’s a sign you should up the weight. Ideally the 3rd set should really challenge you to complete it.

Stick to the same moves each day when you’re starting out.

While experienced gym goers may choose to do different exercises every day during a week-long period (and repeat the same moves the following week), there’s no need to follow this type of program when you’re just starting out. Keep it simple. Stick to the same basic moves two to three times a week to build a basic level of fitness and strength. Great results can be made by repeating the same workout but increasing resistance as you become stronger. Later on switching things can help you avoid a training plateau but then so can increasing resistance while doing the same exercise.

Fit in a post-workout stretch if you can.

Now that you’ve got the training part done, it’s time to stretch. Stretching while your muscles are warm can help improve your flexibility. A light cool-down is also great for calming the nervous system. While dynamic stretches should be your go-to during a warm-up, the cool-down is where static stretching comes in—this means holding a stretch for 20-30 seconds.

Refuel with water, carbs, and protein.

After training session it is important to rehydrate your body: Drink lots of water. A balanced post-workout snack is also a good idea. Go for one with carbs to refuel your glycogen stores (one of your body’s main energy sources) and about 10 to 20 grams of protein to help build and repair your muscles. If you’re lifting and weight loss is one of your goals, though, it’s still important to keep calories in mind—a post-workout snack shouldn’t be more than 150 to 200 calories.

Take rest days when your body tells you to.

It’s OK to be a little sore. Your muscles might feel achy or tired the day after a tough training session thanks to DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness. A novel, new movement or a resistance exercise with a large eccentric phase will cause DOMS for anyone not just a beginner. When you resistance train you’re causing microscopic damage to the tissue that will be repaired, that’s how you build stronger lean muscle. Repair and recover are important elements and so rest days and sufficient sleep are vital. If you constantly break down muscle without a recovery period, you won’t give the muscle fibres a chance to repair and build back stronger.

Ultimately, you must focus on how you feel. Listen to your body, it will tell you when it needs a day off. Don’t push yourself too hard to begin with; look to increase the intensity in your training over time, in both the level of resistance and the frequency of training.

Fitness

Resistance training for the female population

The benefits of weight lifting for women are much written about and widely varied. Simply put, It makes you feel healthier, helps you move pain-free, you’ll look better naked – there are lots of reasons why you should make resistance training a regular part of your fitness training.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that what you eat will dictate your SIZE but training will dictate your SHAPE!

For a lean body with curves in the right places you need a combination of the 2 – None of this 80% diet, 20% training BS – both are important. At the risk of over simplifying, when you diet, you lose fat and muscle mass. This is why you lose your curves, and end up with little muscle mass no matter how much body fat you also lose (especially if you’re past your teenage years). Apart from the effect on how you look this is also detrimental to your long term health and wellness. By doing resistance training while in a calorie deficit you will maximize your fat loss while minimizing muscle loss – the end result being all the right curves in the right places! and a functional strong body as a bonus!

What about endurance training (cardio’s more scientific name)?

Think of endurance training in the same way as diet… it helps dictating your size by burning more calories, but will do very little for your shape.

“But… Won’t I get bulky?”

This is a reaction some women have when it’s suggested that they swap the bike for a barbell. But in one simple word: No! Females do not have enough testosterone, a key muscle building hormone.

“But what about the female bodybuilders?” – I hear you say.

Pretty much everyone in the top of professional bodybuilding is on synthetic drugs (not all but most)… and even if not then, they have been lifting heavy for many years! So you have nothing to fear! Sure you can increase your muscle mass, but it won’t happen overnight. You will need lots of time and dedication and even then, you will hardly look big.

However, if you really don’t want to increase your muscle mass, but want to look firmer… remember that diet = size so make sure you are eating at maintenance and/or a calorie deficit to get the lean body you maybe dreaming of. As an independent woman, you may like to carry your own things and may hate it when your strength is a limiting factor in how you live your life. Who likes to struggle to carry bags etc? No one should have their daily life restricted by poor strength. Resistance training will make you feel like Wonder Woman without looking like The Hulk. Day-to-day tasks get a lot easier to manage and suddenly things like walking upstairs, carrying or lifting your children up are not such a struggle anymore.

Because of your wonderful (and sometimes misunderstood) hormones, ladies are at a higher risk of osteoporosis as they get older. By the time you reach adulthood, your bone density is at its peak but will then deteriorate as you age. This puts elderly women at higher risk of fractures and injuries. However, resistance training has been linked to not only increasing the strength of your muscles, but also your bones strength and importantly their density and will improve your bone density, no matter when you start training. Also, the good news with regards to resistance training is that there is little-to-no impact, which makes it safer for people of all ages. By strengthening muscles, bones and connective tissue, weight training will improve balance and coordination making it less likely that you may fall and break a bone or strain some part of your body. It will also improve joint stability and may help prevent osteoarthritis and back pain.

In addition, there have been various links between exercise and mental health. A study from Harvard Medical School shows that as little as 10 weeks of resistance training can reduce clinical depression more effectively than standard counseling. Wow!! The one thing I never thought about when I started my weight training journey was the sociological change. However feeling stronger is very empowering, as the weights I lifted increased I felt a lot more confident and sure of myself. So will you.

So what are you waiting for? Get lifting! Don’t know how to get started? Resistance training comes in many forms. If you are a total beginner, body weight and resistance bands may be enough. Yoga and Pilates can help too – go find a class! But …….. the body adapts to new stimulus quick so as you progress it will be necessary to add weights in order to further improve.

If you need help with how to get started, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Email : info@newmovementsolutions.com

or give me a call on 07930522586.

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It will hurt

Says it all really – yes getting fit, losing some weight, building some muscle mass takes dedication, willpower, sacrifice, time BUT when you dedicate, sacrifice, give the time it really is so so worth it!!

Call New Movement Solutions 07930522586 and together we can get you to reach that goal.