Articles for the Month of February 2014

Strength Training for women – won’t that make me look too muscular?

Arnie

If you’re a woman, the answer to that question is almost certainly no! As women, we have too little testosterone to build bulging muscles, plus you would have to do a lot of it with very heavy weights, so you’re not going to look like Arnie!

Instead, regular strength training for women will produce strong, toned muscles. Not only that, you will also:

  • Halt bone loss
  • Improve your balance
  • Feel more energised
  • Improve flexibility
  • Burn more calories at rest

Strength training for women is often overlooked as part of a weight loss programme, and yet it’s critical to healthy and sustainable weight loss. That’s because the body has a tendency to lose muscle mass during weight loss, especially rapid weight loss, and the only way to counteract that is to challenge the muscles with strength training. 

Muscles are active tissues, which burn calories at rest, so losing muscle mass results in a lowered metabolic rate, making it harder to achieve and sustain weight loss.

Under-utilised muscles atrophy as we age, so over the long term, we lose the ability to do everyday tasks, and since muscles support the skeleton, we become more prone to trips and falls. But the good news is that muscle decline can be reversed, no matter how old you are when you start.

At Ladies Workout Express, our 30 minute workout combines cardiovascular work with a full-body strength routine. Our equipment is hydraulic, which means that it won’t build muscle size,  just tone and strengthen, and it’s also suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Done 2-3 times a week, you will soon start to notice a difference in your strength and shape!

Toned arms

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Why should you keep a food & exercise diary?

food diary

Whatever your health and fitness goals, you’ll find it easier to stay on track if you keep a food & exercise diary. Research shows that dieters who keep a food diary will lose on average 50% more than those who don’t.

It doesn’t have to be fancy – just a blank A4 sheet divided into days or a spreadsheet will do. There are also plenty of online food & exercise diaries (we like www.weightlossresources.co.uk) and Apps out there if you want to be a bit more scientific.

So how does it work?

Well, first of all, it acts as a discipline. It’s so easy to have an extra snack or drink and completely forget about it. These add up over the course of the week so you get to the end and wonder why you haven’t lost weight. If you have to write everything down, then you’ll think twice before consuming it.

It will also act as a way of pinpointing what’s gone wrong and where you have to make improvements. That might mean cutting out the biscuits, adding more fruit, or freezing leftovers instead of having second helpings.

A food & exercise diary will also remind you how long it’s been since your last workout, and you can use it to plan in your gym visits, and make sure you have your gym kit with you.

Yes, it’s a bit of a pain to do, but the results will be worth it!

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Should you exercise or diet to lose weight?

Diet or Exercise - what works best?

Diet or Exercise – what works best?

Here we are a month into 2014 and are you managing to lose weight?

Gyms across the country were jammed full of new members last month as lots of hopeful people put their new year resolutions into action. By now though, many have already have dropped off their attendance, and handed the gym floor back to the regulars.

So what went wrong? In most cases it’s down to unrealistic expectations. Losing weight isn’t easy and it isn’t quick, and half a dozen trips to the gym won’t cut it. So what is the answer?

As an industry, we only have ourselves to blame. We peddle the idea that a gym membership is the way to lose weight, when mathematics proves that it isn’t that simple..

What do we mean by that? Well, in order to lose a pound of fat, we have to burn off 3500 calories. For an averagely-fit, normal weight person, that would mean jogging for an hour, six times a week. Anyone starting out on an exercise programme is going to find that nigh on impossible, and so the eagerly anticipated results won’t come.

Contrast that with following a calorie-restricted diet. Saving just 500 calories a day ie cutting down 20-25% of normal intake, equates to a loss of a pound a week – hopefully of fat. To lose 2lbs of fat a week would mean roughly halving calorie intake, which for most people is unsustainable and often unhealthy.

So does that mean you should forget the gym and just join a slimming club to lose weight?

Absolutely not! By far and away the healthiest and most effective way to lose weight -and maintain that loss for the long term – is to combine exercise with a healthy weight loss diet. Exercise may not burn as many calories as you would like, but it’s the way it makes you feel that matters. By exercising regularly you will feel more healthy and in control, and will therefore find it a lot easier to follow a calorie-restricted healthy eating plan.

At Ladies Workout Express, we understand about the interplay between exercise and diet, so we will give you nutritional advice tailored to your own goals. Plus our 30 minute workout is designed to burn up to 500 calories, and to carry on burning calories for another 24-48 hours.

If you would like to try out our 30 minute workout, you can have a no obligation 3-day trial membership. Just call us on 0161 401 0794 to book your first visit.

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