Monthly Archives: July 2016

Women’s Fitness

When it comes to women’s fitness and men’s fitness, Yes! There is a difference. Women are very different than men. You are physiologically, structurally, hormonally, and emotionally different than your male counterparts. Why then, would a women’s fitness program be the same as a men’s fitness program?

Have you ever gone to the gym with your husband or boyfriend in the hopes that both of you would lose weight. You do the same exact exercises that he does. You do more cardio than he does. You even eat better than he does… only to find out that he has lost 10 pounds while you stayed the same or, even worse, you gained a couple of pounds. I hear this complaint all of the time. This is why a women’s fitness program must be different than that of her male counterpart.

The only time tested proven approach to healthful permanent physical change comes from what is known as a paradigm shift (a shift in the way you are currently thinking). In order to achieve your women’s fitness goals you will have to adopt a lifestyle which consists of supportive nutrition and proper exercise.?

Supportive nutrition, as opposed to just healthy eating, supports a lifestyle that will help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals. In order to maintain a healthy weight we must have a proper balance of beneficial proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Eating a variety of healthy foods from all of the food groups is essential to achieving and maintaining lasting weight loss. This is the only way to receive all of the beneficial nutrients necessary to achieve optimum levels of health & wellness.

Proper exercise is a combination of moderate aerobic exercise and resistance training performed in the proper amounts and intensity.

Also, a proper women’s fitness program must be easy to follow. It has to be something that is permanent… that you can follow for the rest of your life. If the program is too strenuous or too complicated, the results will only be temporary. As soon as you go off of the program (and you will) you will gain all of your weight back and then some.

Women & Fat Storage

What I’m about to tell you may make you mad. You’ve probably known this your entire life. Your male counterpart probably laughed at you every time you made mention of it, but I’m here to tell you that it is true. Women hold onto and burn fat different than men. Yes you heard me right. There is a tremendous difference.

Women are predisposed to fat storage. It is in your genetic make up. Puberty, your monthly cycles, pregnancy, and menopause are all factors that promote an immense amount of fat storage. And, if you are taking any kind of hormone replacement therapies, your situation is compounded. Not to mention medical conditions that are more common to women. Men do not have to deal with any of this.

Joint Stability, Proper Posture, & Muscular Balance

Another area of concern for women’s fitness is joint stability, proper posture, and muscular balance. These three areas of concern are crucial to any woman who wants to lead a vital, pain free life.

Without exception, every woman that I have come across has needed help with posture, joint stability and muscular balance.

Most women either do not perform resistance exercises and/or follow an improper haphazard exercise routine. This causes imbalances in musculature, which can lead to a whole myriad of problems including: headaches, backaches, knee problems, foot and ankle problems, and numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers just to name a few.

Also, a woman will have smaller joints, ligaments, tendons and approximately 30% less muscle than her same height same weight male counterpart. What this means to you is that a woman has weaker and less stable joints than a man, making you much more susceptible to injury.

Is There A Solution

I can go on and on, but you get the picture. You can see why it is imperative that specific exercise and nutrition programming for a female is essential. It is imperative for you to follow a women’s fitness program that addresses all of these concerns.

What Has Changed in Health & Fitness

There have been many changes in fitness over the past 30 years. It’s human nature to reminisce about times past. That’s great but lets not forget that things change as well. This is certainly true in the area of health and fitness. “If you do what you have always done, you will get the results you have always gotten” is true, but what if the situation changes? Then what used to work is no longer a viable and effect way to get the results that we want. In this article I will outline seven items that have changed over the past 30 or so years that affect the way we view health, fitness, exercise and what is considered “best”. Let’s look at some of these changes in Fitness.

1. Activity level

This change in fitness is pretty obvious. We just don’t move around as much as we used to 30 years ago.

Currently, the average sedentary person living in an urban setting takes 900-3000 steps a day. Uh… that’s a puny number! In the journal of sports medicine existing literature was pulled together to set a general guideline of what a good number of steps per day would be

The author Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke translated different physical activity into steps-per-day equivalents. A rate of fewer than 5,000 is classified as sedentary, 5,000 to 7,499 is low active, 7,500 to 9,999 is somewhat active 10,000 or more is active and 12,500 or more is very active. So what does 900 make us? Close to dead! But its not hard to imagine. Get up from, take elevator to car park, drive car, take elevator to office, sit down, order fast food, reverse the process to go home and go back to bed. Just to note, 1km is about 1300 steps.

Its gotten to the point where we have to purposely inconvenience ourselves to get our activity level up. Here are some suggestions (that actually show us how pathetic our average activity levels have become).

Park at the far end of the car park and walk to your building Instead of dropping the kids off in front of the school, park a couple of streets before it and walk them the rest of the way… 10,000 is actually considered a LOW estimate for children.

Go round the shopping centre or supermarket in a random. With today’s super malls, this is a big thing!

Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator (well if you work on the 50th floor, maybe climb halfway to start)

Give the dog an extra 5 minutes on his walk (we need it even more than him)

Stop emailing colleagues in the same office, instead go over and talk to them (shockingly effective considering how much email we send each day!… great for team building as well)

Go for a walk during your lunch break, walk to get your lunch or to find somewhere to eat your lunch

Get up and do something, run up and down the stairs for example during TV ads (no excuses here!)

Walk to the corner shop instead of driving or popping in on your way home

Walk to friends houses instead of driving

Take public transport and walk from the train station

Dr. David Bassett studied an Amish community to see what things were like in the past. These guys have no cars, no electricity and do hard manual labor to put food on the table. Its like time travel to the past. They eat 3 large meals a day with lots of meat, vegetables and natural starches like potatoes.

The 98 Amish adults Bassett surveyed wore pedometers for a week. The men averaged 18,000 steps a day. The women took an average of 14,000 steps.

The men spent about 10 hours a week doing heavy work like plowing, shoeing horses, tossing hay bales, and digging. The women spent about 3.5 hours a week at heavy chores. Men spent 55 hours a week in moderate activity; women reported 45 hours a week of moderate chores like gardening and doing laundry. Wow that’s a lot of manual labor. Get a pedometer (its only like 20 bucks) and see how you fare.

2. Fat Percentages and Obesity

Activity level leads us right on to this point about obesity. The scary obesity rate is one of the most obvious changes in fitness.

The obesity rate among the participants in the study of the Amish population was 4 percent, as determined by body mass index, or BMI. The current obesity rate among the urban populations is 30% or more. OK the obesity percentages are a scary thing because obesity is already in the “VERY high risk of a lot of bad ways to die” category. There is still the overweight category (obviously fat but not hitting the medically obese range) to consider. These people are at a high risk already!

The total percentages of overweight + obese are really wild… hitting close to 70% in some cities. Compare this to the average in the 1980s. 10-15% obesity in most cities. It rose to the mid 20% in 1995 and its now at an all time high.

3. Diet

OK linked to point no.2 is of course diet. This is another obvious change in fitness. Its very simple actually. We now eat more refined foods (white bread, sugar, rice, flour, noodles). In the body these give pretty much the same response – FAT storage. The only time we should eat these items is immediately after hard training. As we can tell from point no.1, not much of any training is going on. But lots of eating is!

We also eat less fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. We eat more snacks like chips and cookies (which are also refined despite what advertisers claim).

These changes in fitness are made more troubling because even natural foods today are not as good for us as they used to be. Current farming methods make vitamin and mineral content in fruits and vegetables drop about 10-40% depending on the mineral. Corn fed meats don’t give us as good an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio as we used to get from grass fed and free range animals. (that means not so many healthy fatty acids for us)

And of course, we are also simply consuming more calories. The Amish people in the study in point no.1 ate about 3600 calories/day for men and 2100 calories/day for women. Many sedentary people consume this much and more! How? Well a fully “featured” gourmet coffee from coffee bean or Starbucks can add up to 500 calories in an instant of caffeine folly.

That’s 2 hours of walking for an average sized lady.

Just remember, calorie quality counts as well. 2000 calories of vegetables, meat and healthy fats is infinitely better than 2000 calories from french fries. Its close to impossible to get fat on the first, and nearly impossible not to get fat with the second.

I like this car analogy. If you had a 2million dollar dream car, would you put low grade or high grade petrol into it? High grade of course! Then why do some people put low grade filth into their bodies which are so much more important than the car we drive?

4. Games children play

The average child who grows up in an urban environment is a motor-skill weakling. As a hobby, I coach youth basketball. In our talent scouting, I have kids do a very simple drill of dribbling in and out and around cones. There are so many kids who can’t do it and some who I think might fall down if asked to RUN around the cones without the ball! This is in contrast to the past where kids ran around, chased each other, played physical games and sports of all kinds, where the playground was the center of fun for young kids. This lack of activity not only causes a change in fitness for the child in his/her youth, but has a profound long term effect as well.

Of course this change in fitness is a result of a combination of possible factors.

Parents who only consider academic success to be worth striving for, who only give a child recognition and praise when they do well in academic subjects.

An education system who also values book knowledge above other things and takes away physical education classes to put more academic lessons in.

Poorly taught PE lessons that don’t help a child develop motor skills in the key early years Busy double-income families where fathers are not free to play with their children (or don’t care enough to… money isn’t everything dads)

The maddening computer game addiction situation where virtual life is more important than real life. I believe this is the reason for all the empty basketball courts in my neighbourhood. It used to be that teams lined up to play there. Now only people my age (late 20s to 30s) play. No young kids are there any more.

But actually, so what? The issue is that if kids stink at sport and physical activity, the well known psychological factor of “competence” comes is. Simply put, in general, we do what we are good at. If our next generation is poor at sport and physical activity, they are even less likely to do any of it! Which combined with items 1 to 3, make for a deadly health crisis for many countries. Obesity costs the UK 7.4 billion in national health care per year! If we don’t help our kids, that’s only going to grow to be a bigger and bigger burden for everybody.

5. Social Support

This is a more subtle change in fitness. People are communal animals. We stick with things because there is a supportive community behind us. Even drug and alcoholism rehab centers recognise this. We all need social support. But social links are getting weaker. And no, Friendster and MySpace links don’t make up for it.

In a more connected but less close world (I know so many people who are only comfortable behind a computer screen and not in front of a real person) there is less social support than in the past (extended families, communal living, strong friendships within a neighbourhood etc) and its hard to stick with something which requires dedication and sacrifice like an exercise program. I’m not a sociologist but I do believe there is a reason that exercise classes do better in terms of membership than individualized training. Most of them certainly are not as effective as great individual coaching. But the social factor does come in when sustaining a lifestyle change is involved.

6. Free Time

This subtle change in fitness is pretty clear. We just have less time that we “own”. Bosses, social, family and other commitments make free time a very precious commodity and it adds difficulty to the fact that time is our only non renewable resource. When we choose to exercise or spend time cooking to keep a healthy lifestyle, we are competing with movies, games, TV and other things for free time. We know that exercise is good for us, but it not only has to be good for us, it has to be BETTER in our minds than the latest episode of desperate housewives, or the latest computer game. That’s the issue. We need to prioritize long term health over temporary fun.

7. Training methods

OK here is where we are doing well. 30 years ago the aerobics craze took the western world by storm. Its not a very good training method both in terms of results, and in terms of results per unit of time. Add that to the fact that we have such minimal time to train, we can’t afford to train in a sub-optimal way. We know a lot more now. Fortunately for us, there are good methods that smart coaches use to improve training efficiency and get RESULTS even with less training time. Some of these include smartly designed resistance training programs, interval training and good assessment techniques to determine individual needs. If you have a coach like that in your corner, you can turn back the clock and avoid becoming one of the ever growing statistic of people who’s health is headed in the wrong direction. Stay fit and strong and good luck!

Cycling For Health and Women’s

If you are looking for the ultimate aerobic workout to add to your women’s fitness and exercise program, give indoor cycling a whirl.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this indoor cycling exercise, I’ll try and explain it a bit. Indoor Cycling is an aerobic exercise that takes place on a specially designed stationary bicycle called a spinning bike. In a class of other stationary cyclists, you pedal while motivating music plays and an instructor talks you through a visualization of an outdoor cycling workout. Emulating hill climbing and traveling down hill, you are sometimes pedaling as fast as you can, other times cranking up the tension and pedaling slowly from a standing position. Cycling helps you to focus inward and to work on your mind and your body. This is an ultimate workout for any women’s fitness program.

Cycling burns a big bunch of calories, if you feel the need to count them that is. An average 340 to 450 calories can be burned in 45 minutes. Cycling is an awesome aerobic workout that causes your heart to pump to a healthy and fast pace. It also tones your quadriceps (front thigh muscles) and outer thigh muscles.

The great thing about cycling on a stationary bike is that you are in complete control. You adjust the tension and you determine your speed. However, be prepared to be mesmerized by the visualization process which may magically transform you into the heat of the race.

It’s good to note that indoor cycling doesn’t require a tremendous amount of coordination like other aerobic activities. This just makes it easier to concentrate on your form for total women’s fitness benefits.

Get some good shoes with a hard rigid sole that are functional for a cycling class. The pedals can be hard on your feet, so check with the shoe salesman for the best suggestions on what they offer. You might want to do your own research for the best shoes for you. Since this is about the only piece of equipment you need for cycling, invest a little money to get a shoe that will benefit your cycling experience.

I always get the best workout when I attend indoor cycling classes. But I’ll let you in on a secret… I was drenched in sweat after the first 20 minutes of my 45 minute class! It was challenging and I loved the way it made me feel.

As a personal trainer with a passion for women’s fitness, I’m always on the lookout for aerobic exercises that provide a great cardio workout and that are fun and easy to do. Cycling passes the test for the ultimate health and fitness exercise.

You can find cycling classes at most gyms and some community schools. You may decide that you wish to purchase your own stationary bike. However, it’s always wise to attend a couple of classes to determine if you want to invest in a bike of your own. If you do decide to purchase a stationary bike, there are many to choose from that range in price.

When you begin cycling, you’ll probably notice a change in the way that you feel mentally as well as physically. That’s one of the attractions of cycling. Your confidence will soar as you complete class after class. This exercise is healthy for your mind as well as your body. It’s a great way to keep your workout fun and exciting, too. Uphill, downhill, fast then slow, cycling is fun for women’s fitness and health.

Two Things to Consider to Ensure Women’s

Everyone worries about his or her health. In fact, this is primary concern of women more than men. Women’s fitness concerns have actually created a huge industry of diet plans and weight loss programs. This is probably because the pressure on maintaining proper weight is even more emphasized when you are a woman.

A woman is always expected to look good and to have an attractive figure. This is an unfortunate truth. Of course, there are benefits to women’s fitness. Having a fit body means having good health. Not only will you look great, you will also ensure that you are healthy when you take time to observe proper diet and exercise. Attaining a fit body and good health is easy. There are just some things that you have to adhere to.

You Need to Eat Right

First of all, you have to make sure that you eat right. As much as you love chocolates, you need to cut back on your chocolate intake. Avoid foods that are packed with calories. Stay away from salty, oily and fatty foods. These things are bad for your health. They completely ruin women’s fitness programs. They are completely hazardous not only to your figure but to your heart as well. These things can increase your cholesterol levels, placing you at higher risk of developing diabetes, hypertension and heart problems. These are also packed with toxic materials that can also cause cancer in the long run. Instead of eating these kinds of foods, opt for a high-fiber diet. You can also choose to follow a specific diet program. Choose a program that works best for you.

Shun the Elevator, Climb the Stairs!

Definitely! If you have time to spare, you should consider ditching the elevator for the day. Instead, climb the stairs. You can’t imagine how helpful doing things like this can be in ensuring women’s fitness. There are actually many things that you can do in order to help you lose weight. In truth, these things can be a part of your daily lifestyle. You just have to be conscious about your activities. Always ask yourself, “Will this benefit my health?” If the answer is no, then there’s your answer. This question should be asked at all times. Even stressful personal relationships can cause problems in the long run.

Women’s fitness is easy to attain. It’s not some secret that only supermodels know about. You just have to take your time to know how to go about ensuring good health.