Monday, July 18, 2011

What are the benefits of weight lifting for woman?

I come across so many woman who do not truly understand the positive impact weight lifting can have when introduced into your training.
By adding weight lifting into your exercise routine, you’ll be able to feel and see the benefits quickly, by losing weight, gaining muscle, and toning and sculpting until you get the body you’ve always wanted.
Most people  shy away from weight lifting because they are afraid they will bulk up and appear too masculine. This is simply not the case, although I do understand some females out there do build muscle very quickly and are afraid of weight training for that reason, it all comes down to what type of weight lifting you are doing. *If you are one of those people that builds muscle quickly ask your trainer directly how you can transform that amazing muscle into lean and toned muscle.
Adding weight lifting into your exercise routine can help dramatically increase your metabolism, tone and sculpt your body and strengthen your bones. It can also help you lose weight faster, this is because the more muscle you build the more calories you lose throughout the day even when you are resting.  To put it bluntly woman who lift weights burn more calories than woman who don’t. What more motivation do you need!
I’ve put together a list of all the benefits to encourage you to get started!
1. You will lose body fat – Weight lifting helps with weight loss because the more lean muscle a woman has, the more calories she burns.  Strength training increases your metabolic rate by increasing the calories you burn on a daily basis. The more calories you burn, the more chance you have to drop body fat.

2. You will be physically stronger – Being stronger can benefit in many ways, day to day activities will become easier. Lifting your kids, doing the groceries or lifting heavy objects will become easier and you will be far less likely to injure yourself. Through weight training you can expect substantial increase in your strength. Quality of life is better because you can perform activities with more ease and less pain.

3. Your mood will be improved, and it can fight depression – Weight training can make you feel more confident and capable. It can also significantly improve a person’s mood.

4. Injury prevention – Strength training strengthens our muscles and tendons. The stronger we are the less chance we have of an injury. This is especially important as we grow older.  Strengthening the muscles around our joints is one of the best ways to prevent and recover from injury. For example: The best way to recover from a knee injury is to strengthen the quads and calves. I have also seen lots of study proving that weight training can ease the pain of osteoarthritis and weight training can also increase spinal bone mineral density. This coupled with an adequate amount of dietary calcium can be a woman’s best defense against osteoporosis.

5. You will reduce your risk of diabetes – Weight training can improve the way the body processes sugar which reduces the risk of diabetes.

I hope I have encouraged some of you ladies out there to push past your insecurities of weight training and decide to try it out and reap the benefits J

Please remember that before you start your weight lifting routine make sure you are taught on proper lifting techniques. Ask a professional at the gym to show you the proper technique so you’re lifting the right way. If your using free weights, make sure you’re using weights that are appropriate for you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Clean eating

Do you find yourself eating healthy all week and then something happens (you’re stressed, you’re bored, you’re having that time of the month, you’re out with your friends) and all your healthy clean eating flies out the window! You end up eating your week’s worth of calories in one night, and instantly feel regret.

How can we prevent things like this happening? We need to focus our attention on controlling exactly what goes into our mouths. Creating healthier alternatives for ourselves by substituting bad ingredients with good ingredients.

One of the biggest obstacles when it comes to nutrition is training your taste buds to clean eating. Many people hesitate to start cleaning up their diets because they think it’s going to be boring and bland.  But in reality, it doesn’t have to be like that at all. You just need to be more creative and put some thought into your food intake process. You can cook the same recipes that you love and make it “clean” by substituting the bad stuff with good.

This is a list of healthy substitutes to start you off –
Don’t sacrifice the taste, substitute the ingredient!

Instead of milk chocolate try carob or dark chocolate
Instead of white bread switch to whole wheat, multi, rye bread, sourdough
Instead of salad dressing try vinegar, lemon or olive oil
Instead of soda drink sparkling water or H2coco coconut water
Instead of chips have air popped pop corn
Instead of refined pasta try whole wheat or quinoa pasta
Instead of calorie filled cookies TRY my healthy cookie recipe below
Try and grill and bake instead of fry

To eat clean we really just need to start paying attention to our food. Start reading your labels. Eat organic as much as possible. It may take some time to change your habits and train your taste buds, but soon enough it will become your second nature.

If you are one of those people that stocks your pantry full of chips and chocolate, you will need to find healthier alternatives. Try setting aside one day in the week where you hit your kitchen and cook up some healthy alternatives. Bake a batch of my cookies below, air pop some pop corn. Put these in your pantry and replace the bad stuff. When you next have your ‘moment’ of needing something bad, you will have something that is still tasty but will not be filled with unnecessary calories that will leave you feeling guilty.
Also look in your healthy aisle at your local supermarket and I’m sure you can find a ‘healthier’ alternatives to buy than what you’re currently eating.

My guilt free chocolate chip cookie receipe
I’ve substituted some ingredients and created this recipe for a healthy alternative to eating those calorie filled cookies. Now you can enjoy your cookie without feeling the guilt after.

What you need
1/3 cup cooked oats
3 tbsp. agave nectar or honey
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (no high fructose! no hydrogenated oils!)

What to do
1. Mix everything (except the chocolate chips)
2. Slowly mix in chocolate chips (the warm oats will melt your chips if you mix too much)
3. Place spoonful on baking paper lined
4. Bake at 180 for 15-20mins (depends how soft you like your cookies)

Remember, these cookies are healthy so the texture will be a little different with the oatmeal as the base. This receipie is for a small batch so feel free to increase measurements. Enjoy :)