As the nights start to get darker, the weather wetter and the motivation to exercise decreases we’ve got some great winter training advice and tips to keep you in shape throughout the Winter.
1. Exercise Early
Whilst not for everyone, an early morning workout is a great way to start the day. It’ll get your endorphins and blood pumping round your body. Putting you in a better mood your brain will function with greater clarity allowing you to be more productive during the day. With some of our gyms being open from 6am and early morning classes available too, there’s no excuse not to try a morning workout. Take a look at our timetable now by clicking here.
2. Try Something Different
Developing a good fitness routine can help you maintain focus, commit to your workouts and make good progress towards your goals, however it can often lead to boredom and lack of progression as we don’t often push ourselves hard enough. So why not shake up your routine and try something different? With over 350 classes available on our weekly timetable why not have a go at Metafit or PIYO? Or something less intense like Yoga or Tai Chi? If you’re not already a member why not try a class or the gym completely FREE for 3 days? Sign up here.
3. Set Goals
And try your best to stick to them ! Set a goal to focus on and keep you motivated throughout the winter season. Having something to aim for will help you to prioritise workouts ensuring you don’t miss one. Keep on track is a key tip for maintaining your fitness throughout winter.
4. Prepare for bad weather
You never know what to expect with winter weather conditions, it may be windy or end up raining or the weather could be absolutely fine! Dressing for these unknown winter nights is best done in layers. Experts suggest dressing in easy-to-remove layers to permit for body temperature changes. This may take a few tries to work out what works best for you but don’t give up. Keep trying different clothing combinations until you find the best for you.
5. Listen to the Experts
Our fitness staff are the experts! Experts in helping you achieve your goals. They can provide advice on your exercise routine, fitness trends, nutrition and general tips on leading a healthy lifestyle. Simply ask them next time you’re in the centre or book in for a personal programme and see what tips they can give you. Don’t let the winter blues kick in and stop you achieving your fitness goals. Why not try out some of our winter training advice and tips mentioned? Don’t forget we are here to help you see results and stay in shape throughout the darker nights – just ask us any questions you may have on your next visit or by sending us a message on Facebook.
NHS guidelines recommends you do strengthening activities at least 2 days a week, regardless of your gender, but stereo typically, the term ‘strength training’ can conjure images of bulky, oiled up men, grunting in the weights section of the gym. Understandably, this can seem an intimidating environment for people new to the game.
Is this why only 7% of free weights users are women?  Even when there are so many Strength Training benefits for Females?
1. The ‘lean’ look.
For seasoned cardio bunnies and yoga doers, strength training may be loooow down the list of exercise. When weight loss is the goal, cardio’s high caloric burn, and yoga’s focus on flexibility are both loved for achieving the ‘lean’ look, but strength training can help speed up your progress.
Since muscle burns an estimated three times more calories than fat, adding two to four pounds of muscle can translate into an extra 100 calories burned each day. A high-intensity strength routine has been shown to bump metabolism by 20 percent for several hours post-workout.
You may find you’ve lost inches from your frame, but according to the scales you weigh the same. Don’t worry! Fat takes up a lot more space than the same weight of muscle, as it’s packed a lot tighter. Therefore, you’re more likely to lose inches of body fat, and be replacing it with tight, lean muscle. Nice!
One of the most common reasons women avoid strength training is because they are afraid of “bulking.” However, women have a much tougher time gaining muscle than men, as with 10-30x more testosterone they are predisposed to gain muscle quicker.
If you do see a woman with impressive muscle mass, tip your hat to the time, effort and commitment that it must have taken!
2. Development of metabolic flexibility.
Your metabolism is the chemical engine that uses energy to keep you alive, but its quality is determined by its flexibility, i.e. the ability to use multiple energy sources to fuel day-to-day living, digestion and exercise.
Within 21st century life, the majority of us are tapping into sugar as our primary fuel, however this wasn’t always the norm; for our ancestors, fat would have been the source. Even now, the leanest of people have enough fat stored to fuel multiple days of activity.
So, why the switch to sugar over fat?
Refined carbohydrates: processed baked goods and sugars have become a cornerstone of the modern western diet, with time pressure and stress exacerbating our reliance upon these convenient foods. But when we over consume them, we develop a resistance to the hormone insulin. This is bad, as insulin carries energy to the cells in your body, therefore if your body is desensitized to insulin, it isn’t receiving the energy you are already providing it. This can lead to increased hunger, poor appetite regulation, unreliable energy and blood sugar chaos as experienced in pre and type 2 diabetes. Eek!
Strength training is part of the solution of developing metabolic flexibility, as it increases our insulin sensitivity . This improvement helps you to cultivate and retain more energy from the food you consume, increasing satiety and appetite regulation, as well as enhancing mood.
But, most importantly; with increased insulin sensitivity, you won’t need to constantly snack as an energy source! You start to shift towards burning fat as fuel as well.
3. Increased energy use.
So, strength training impacts the quality of your metabolism positively, but strength training also has a positive impact upon the quantity of your metabolism.
Your total energy expenditure is composed of the following 4 areas:
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): Your metabolic rate during sleep or deep rest. It is the minimum metabolic rate needed to keep your lungs breathing, heart pumping, brain ticking, and body warm.
Thermic Effect of Food (TEF): The number of calories burned while your body is digesting and processing food. TEF usually represents about 10% of your total energy expenditure.
Thermic Effect of Exercise (TEE): The increase in calories burned during exercise.
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT): The number of calories required for activities other than exercise. This includes fidgeting, changing posture, standing, and walking around.
As you gain muscle via strength training, your body produces more heat and as you gain muscle, your BMR, TEE and NEAT all increase. Therefore, in every single minute of every day, you will be using more energy and if your metabolic flexibility has also enhanced, more of those calories will be coming from your stored fat.
4. Increase function.
Taking a long-term approach to strength training has multiple benefits upon your function. Whilst ‘Functional Training’ is a buzz word around fitness, what it actually means is often missed: functional training should bring about an increase in your own function. For example, as we’re all at different stages of physical development, an increase of function could be the ability to stand from a chair, and for someone else, better pelvic floor control. Function can be recognised from every aspect of life and more often than not, increasing strength is a defining factor in developing new levels of function.
Balanced strength training will strengthen your back, shoulders, core, hips and legs, helping to correct bad posture. You can stand taller, with feet connected, hips through, shoulders back and spine long.
There is also a great impact of strength training upon connective tissue and joints. Strong joints, ligaments, and tendons are important to prevent injury and can relieve pain from osteoarthritis. Strengthening muscles and connective tissue will make injury from daily tasks and routine exercise less likely, which can even improve sports performance.
5. Increase bone density.
Strength training not only strengthens muscle and connective tissue, it also stimulates new bone growth. The resulting increase in bone density, reduces the risk of fractures and broken bones.
Worldwide, 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures. Therefore, it’s very important to keep up with strength training throughout all stages of your life and it’s never too late to start! Studies have shown that there are multiple benefits for people starting strength training over 65 years old, such as being able to walk further and lowering the risk of falls.
6. Enhance Mood and Reduce Stress.
Our 6th Strength Training Benefits for Females includes enhanced mood and reduced stress.
You’re probably familiar with the term ‘runners high’, the euphoric feeling sometimes achieved through exercising. This feeling is down to a rush of endorphins, that can be released when lifting weights also.
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and fight depression, naturally reducing stress and anxiety. They also stimulate the mind, improving alertness and boosting energy.
A study done by the University of Sydney, found that regularly lifting weights significantly reduces symptoms of depression, with meaningful improvement from 60% of clinically diagnosed patients: a similar response rate from antidepressants without the side effects!
So, start with either no equipment, using your body weight as resistance, or with low weights. You’re aiming for 8-10 reps, that by the end, you’re just about able to complete. Focus on form, then increase weight as you grow stronger.
Get ready to meet your stronger self!
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Strength Training Benefits for Females References: