As a woman over 40....well, actually over 50...I am happy to say that the wasted hours of exercise are behind me! The starvation is long gone, and the energy levels are higher than they were in my 30-s.
I now look and feel fitter, leaner and stronger than I did 20 years ago. How? First, by changing my mindset on what I thought my body needed. Secondly, by switching up what I did during exercise, and last but not at all least, how I eat for energy instead of weight loss.
If you are still using cardio only as in running, spinning, or Zumba as your method of weight loss...let-s take a look at how you could actually be accelerating the aging process. Besides putting an unnecessary strain on your joints, your energy levels and maybe even your adrenals, you could possibly even be causing your body to hold onto excess bodyfat.
It-s time to slow down the pace, while slowing down the hands of time...and get out of the -calorie burning- mindset. If burning calories is your goal, then let-s explore what you are missing out on, and how functional strength training will be your key to a firm body, weight loss, AND a future where you defy aging.
Changing our mindset is crucial to changing our body. If we keep following old school methods of trying to stay fit, then we might just be missing the keys to living long and strong lives. If you are not eating nutrient dense foods, are are obsessed with low calories...you will have a slower metabolic rate. If you add running, or hours of cardio to a body with no fuel? Then you will spare muscle tissue that is needed to keep your metabolic rate on fire. Not only will you slow your metabolic rate, but you will look older, feel older, put a tax on your immune system and become frail.
Functional strength is not a new term, but a term that has actually resurfaced. With the boom of the competitive hard core workouts, came a handful of women off of the couch, ready to kick fat to the curb...and some of them did. There were also those that got hurt, were to sore to continue, or those that just couldn-t do the tough moves, so they quit and went back to dieting and cardio.
The woman that I want to speak to is the woman that has never lifted anything besides a gallon of milk, a child, or a bag of groceries. Perhaps she is just too tired to exercise because of hormones and a poor diet. Maybe she doesn-t know what to do in a gym, so she walks on the treadmill or sits on a machine.
This woman is getting weaker. She might be irritable or depressed, or even mad at herself. She knows that deep inside, her weight is starting to become a health issue, and she is starting to feel old.
Age is more than a number, and now aging is more than something we do every year. With obesity related illnesses and poor food choices, the last thing we need is a body that is weak and aging fast. This is the biggest reason to start strength training now.
It can be fun. It WILL change your life. And it is what my 80 year old parents do with me, three times per week.
Functional strength is the ability to lift, carry, push, pull, bend, twist, drag, or press an object. Maybe your own bodyweight...maybe a bag of mulch, maybe a dumbbell. The idea is to activate your tendons, ligaments and muscles without getting hurt. Moves that are done methodically so that you get stronger, and are able to move better every day.
The idea is to be able to do it -mindfully- and without getting hurt. The way to go about getting functional strength is to engage your body, in the right movement patterns, using your own bodyweight, dumbbells, bands, kettlebells, or a piece of apparatus in a controlled atmosphere.
This is how you will prepare your body for aging. From better blood flow, to balance, a higher libido, and a healthy glow. You will sleep better, feel better and look better with better posture and a flatter core than you have had in years. These are only some of the benefits when you focus on getting stronger and more balanced, than if you focus on just losing weight.
Are you aware that falling is such an issue with those over 50 that there are actually -fall prevention classes-? Do you know why falls are so common? Because people do not have balance. They are not mindfully aware of their muscles, let alone their core. And posture? Look around you. Most people walk or sit with their shoulders in front of their hips and their heads pointing towards the ground. I-ll be you just sucked in your belly, and sat up straight right? We need to strengthen our core, build lean muscle tissue, and look forward to the future... not fear ending up in a nursing home due to the inability to care for ourselves.
The average woman carries weight in her belly, has a soft core, no back strength and a weight problem. So what does she do? Cuts out calories, skips meals, and starts to either walk or do some form of cardio. This is what starts the lifelong path of wasting away precious muscle tissue, and making it harder to keep the weight off as they age due to damaged metabolic systems.
If you are over 30, and not strength training, then you are in state of sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the term for age related muscle loss. If cardio is your only form of exercise, then you are burning through your muscles and -helping- them waste away. If you are cutting calories and skipping meals along with trying to burn calories? Then you are sabotaging any chance of a firmer body, with a vital energy level that gets you through life.
I urge you to start a functional strength training program. Not a hardcore hour long session that has you limping for days, but a short, sensible workout. One that can be done at home that engages all of the largest muscles in your body. Exercises that mimic everyday life.
From squatting, to push ups, to lunging, to pulling motions that engage the back. Moves that even a beginner can do to get stronger, and build lean muscle tissue.
These are the exercises that will grow lean and firm muscle tissue. These are also that exercises that will carry your body into the -golden years- with a firm and fit body that defies aging!
For a program that targets the movement patterns needed for balance, strength and a firm, lean body, click the link below.
Get strong, not skinny.
Feel vital, not weak.
Look youthful and sexy, not old and frail.
Get on the path to strength today, and take the steps to turn back the clock.
Sharing ways for us to live long and strong lives, in bodies we love.
Dawn Sylvester | Female fat loss and anti-aging expert | Constant Energy Fitness
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