Tag Archives: men

9 Reasons Women Should Do Weight Training  

Strength training is an important part of improving your overall fitness, and for women, it can mean much more. In addition to numerous health benefits, adding weights to your routine can become a form of personal development that builds strength in all areas of life. 

1. Muscle increases metabolic rate and boosts your metabolism naturally.

The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. You read that correctly; by doing absolutely nothing, you can actually burn calories thanks to your mighty muscles. One pound of muscle uses about six calories a day to sustain itself, while one pound of fat burns just two calories daily. And after a session of resistance training, you’ll burn even more since your muscles all over your body are activated. 

Want to burn even more calories? In a study from the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, it was found that women who lifted 85 percent of their maximum load for eight reps than when they did more reps at a lower weight burned twice as many calories in the two hours after their workout. 

By adding muscle through strength training (even just a little bit), your resting metabolic rate (i.e., the amount of calories you burn daily by just existing) increases. Weights temporarily lift your metabolic rate, thanks to a handy process called excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which means your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate even when resting. That’s why, in a study at Penn State University in the US, dieters who lifted weights as well as doing cardio lost 6lb more fat than the group doing aerobic work alone. Athletes are calorie-burning machines even when they are not exercising.

MORE THAN JUST CALORIES:

2. Lifting weights strengthens muscle and bone, which helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis or brittle bone disease

Building muscle mass helps strengthen connective tissues, which increases bone density. By doing this, you’re reducing your risk for injury, and your chance of getting osteoporosis later in life which women are more at risk of than men.

Due to dropping levels of estrogen, postmenopausal women are prone to osteoporosis. Numerous studies show a positive relationship between resistance training and bone density. When bone feels the “pull” from the muscles, bone growth is stimulated. Not only can strength training offset bone loss, it can actually cause an increase in bone density in women who regularly lift weights.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have also found that exercise, which build muscles (here’s how to start your own strength training routine), can actually help to improve balance, improve blood-sugar control, and improve sleep and mental health.

3. If weight loss is your goal, muscle is your mate.

Cardiovascular exercise WILL burn a higher percentage of stored fat but, as Liz says, “A muscular body is a more efficient body. For every additional pound of muscle you gain by lifting weights, your body burns around 50 extra calories every day.” 

4. Shape without the bulk.

If I lift weights, I’ll bulk up like Arnie“- The Truth: Due to their lower levels of testosterone, it is very difficult for women to develop large, bulky muscles. Instead of the bulk, most women tend to build a nice hourglass figure—curves we can be proud of!

On a moderate training plan, building up excessive bulk is impossible. Muscle growth is very dependent on testosterone and women tend to produce 10 times less than men, so you can’t build big bulging muscles naturally. Add to that bodybuilders spend pretty much all day, every day, lifting HEAVY weights and eating large amounts of protein every couple of hours to achieve that look. Unless you put in that kind of time and effort, you’re not going to turn into Popeye.


5. Elevate mood.

Women are twice as likely to develop clinical depression as men, yet two-thirds of these women do not do anything to combat these feelings. The release of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin during resistance training chemically helps exercisers acheive a feeling of well-being. Weight training also leads to an increase in energy, better sleep patterns, and a feeling of accomplishment and control.

6. Lifting weights also has a positive effect on insulin resistance – so your body can convert carbs into energy more efficiently. It raises your metabolic rate by as much as 15%, reduces blood pressure and improves your mood. These are factors that reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

7. Improve posture.

Combat a kyphotic (hunched over) posture by strengthening the backside of the body. Proper posture leads to injury prevention and better power transfer in athletics. And let’s face it, you just look better when you stand up straight (your mother was right!).

8. Move better for longer.

By strengthening muscles and improving bone density, women who spend time in the weight room are typically active for longer periods of time. Increased hip and leg strength aid in mobility and balance, and upper-body strength helps combat postural issues that can lead to back and shoulder injuries.

9. Become a better athlete.

Gone are the days when coaches worried that lifting weights would build bulky muscles that would weigh down athletes. Strength training can lead to better functional movement, explosive power, durability and, of course, greater overall strength.

The bottom line.

Let’s face it: As often as I spout out all of these benefits, I still hear 9 out of 10 women saying they want a better butt. What is the best way to achieve a better butt? Squats. Lunges. Strength training.

Colleen Clark’s Body Image Comic Reminds Us That Our Bodies Don’t Define Us

Colleen Clark’s Body Image Comic Reminds Us That Our Bodies Don’t Define Us
Click the link above to see the comic.

Following on from my previous post about obesity in the media (on my wellbeing blog- https://chloewellbeing.wordpress.com/) and why it is causing such body image issues.
This wonderful comic strip reminds us that what you are on the inside is what counts. Society should not be the one judging you.

“We struggle with it every day: the conflict between our belief that women should celebrate their bodies and the constant public criticism of women’s appearances that communicates the exact opposite message.

So when we came across this incredible comic drawn by Colleen Clark that deals with that ongoing battle, we had to share it.

Clark, a 20-year-old Illustration student at Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, completed the comic over a 16-week semester. “I love the phrase ‘write what you know,’ so I chose to write about what I know best: feeling ashamed, embarrassed, and hateful of my body,” Clark told the Huffington Post in an email.

Clark found the second page of the comic particularly hard to draw. “That giant naked woman is a representation of my own body and how I see it,” she said. “I knew people would be disgusted by that drawing, but I look a lot more like that woman than the women in the thousands of ads I see every day. I needed to draw it for me and for the majority of women in the world who look more like her than supermodels.”

Weight stigma is currently very common in the U.S. Fat-shaming is practiced publicly, and overweight and obese Americans are often treated like second-class citizens, subjected to prejudice from employers and healthcare professionals. A 2011 study found that women feel vulnerable to weight stigma in their everyday interactions and relationships, and in 2012, 46 percent of participants in a fat-bias study said they would rather give up one year of life than be obese. Thirty percent said they would rather be divorced than obese.

“[I]t has been difficult to draw and to talk about, because of how close this topic is to my heart,” Clark wrote on her Tumblr. “I really hope people can relate to it at the very least, and that it can help someone think of their bodies a little differently at the most.”

Is the ‘obesity epidemic’ backfiring?

20130831-163725.jpg

I believe our obsession with the obesity epidemic is backfiring on us.

We think about food too much. We think about our body image too much.

Don’t believe me? Think of when you’re watching tv…the adverts…programmes…
In between programmes such as embarrassing fat bodies, supersize v superskinny, embarrassing bodies, the latest diet or exercise documentary there are promotional adverts for McDonald’s, subway or another food store! And then you’re watching yet another food programme- come dine with me, master-chef, the great British bake off etc- and there are more promotional adverts including the Jenny Craig weight loss programme, special k, or weight watchers, which are in between the adverts for the pizza that can be delivered to your doorstep or the £1 whopper burger.

Not to mention social media; Instagram is now being dubbed as a food diary as people mainly use it to share their pictures they have taken of their food online.

I believe that virtually all of us have eating disorders. There is too much significance on the moral, psychological and sociological issues about the way people eat and what they weigh.

Men included here. Yes, men you can’t lie about worrying about your body image or how healthy you are and comparing yourself to your mates or magazines etc. Or even the older men and their beer bell’s! It’s a fact, male eating disorders (and these are the recorded and diagnosed ones – many go un-recorded) are on the rise. This includes bulimia and anorexia. Furthermore, there has been a notable rise in teenage boys and the abuse of steroids and laxatives. Men say its nonsense!- it’s a female issue. But I’ve witnessed, being a model and going to the gym a lot, it is not. Men suffer from body image issues as well.

And what about our perception of fat and thin people?

The general view is fat= a sloth, lazy, gluttony, no self respect, no self worth, no self esteem, stupidity….where has this come from!? I know very clever fat people and ones who actually have high self esteem!
We assume fat people are miserable. And to make matters worse we moan about the space they take up on trains, buses, aeroplanes, the cost of the NHS for them. That’s a hell of a lot to assume and judge about someone who carries some extra weight! A lot of negative.
And its just as bad for thin people. Thin= weak, feeble, joyless, we associate them with vanity, even bitterness, those poor skeletal creatures, “they think they look great but look awful”.

Society makes assumptions that size is equal to virtue. A trim, fit physique = healthy and attractive and Admirable.
These moral qualities are dimensions which we associate with a trim figure. Qualities that are enviable – self esteem, drive, power, self possession, determination- even career success!

Meeting up with a friend who you haven’t seen for a long time and you notice they have put on a considerable amount of weight: the majority of us would assume they are unhappy- have they lost their job? Or their marriage broken down? – or something else significant which has caused them to gain weight – but we assume that it would be something bad – not good – and that they are unhappy.

But who are the biggest victims? OURSELVES. We believe this, we follow this, follow the diets, the media, the cheap fast and junk food available. The ridiculous amount of mental energy we use debating whether we should have another slice of pizza, another biscuit, berating ourselves for it and vowing to start the ‘liquid’ diet tomorrow!

I find it heartbreaking how many people hate themselves over gaining a few pounds. It destroys our relationship with food, eating- anything in life as we are constantly thinking about it. But in the end fretting about it makes us consume more as food and weight is always on our minds.

This is why i think the obsession with obesity and diet is backfiring. If we were more oblivious about our relationship with food and how much we weigh we would not think about it as much- and we would keep us slim!

20130830-172436.jpg

20130831-164011.jpg

I hope you enjoy reading about my opinion on this topic. Please feel free to comment, however i have more entries to come where i will discuss more about what we can do to help the crisis we are in with health and obesity in the UK.