Why women should lift heavy and celebrity trainers should shut up.

Last week I bought a magazine called Glamour. Now I gave up buying women magazines about a year ago and both my bank balance and my attitude towards my body has thanked me. However this issue had a free nail polish and I do love nail polish. Whilst flicking thru the magazine I came across this bit of advice:

“I prefer to keep the weights low” (the “celebrity” personal trainer advocates 3lbs) which apparently will “create more of a woman’s body – sensual and sexy, but strong”

The above were quotes not journalistic interpretation.

Well I call bullshit. To get strong you need to lift weights, and you need to lift heavy weights, constantly challenging your body so it will change.

Here is what heavy weights for woman can do

  • Actually make you strong.
  • Help keep your bones healthy and decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Increase confidence.
  • Make your shoulders & arms look shapely in sleeveless tops.
  • Enable you to carry either your drunk mate or your sleeping child upstairs to bed (depending on which stage you are in life!)
  • Help you lose or maintain weight. You’ll keep burning calories AFTER you have finished your weight session.

And here is what doing heavy weights as a woman won’t do.

  • Make you bulky
  • Make you a man
  • Make you unsexy, unsensual, weak
  • Frighten men (well it might but that’s their problem not yours)

This goes for whether you are 20 or 80 years of age.

For an awesome post about 6 female Strength Training Myths Busted read Nia Shanks blog, who  can deadlift 330lbs and is neither big nor bulky.

Articles like these are dangerous, women read them and believe that all they need to do is follow the advice and they will be able to replicate their favourite celebrity body.  It is very rare that in such articles nutrition, lifestyle or genes are mentioned, which results in a skewed perspective rather then the full picture.

There are no downsides to doing heavy weights (as long as your form is correct!), how can anyone argue against exercise which actually makes you strong and helps prevent ageing?

Being strong and healthy IS sexy, there are no buts about it.

World COPD Day 2012

COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is a combination of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. People with COPD find it difficult to breath.  It is predicted to become third leading cause of death by 2030 and is not curable.

Both cardiovascular and weight-bearing exercises are to be encouraged for those with COPD with benefits such as

  • increased cardiovascular function
  • decrease in breathlessness
  • increased muscular strength
  • improved posture

The aim of the physical activity undertaken should be to improve the  COPD sufferers quality of life. It has been shown that those with COPD who do participate in regular physical activity have a lower risk of being admitted to hospital with associated problems.

For more information about COPD and exercise

British Lung Foundation

The COPD Foundation – Exercise for someone with COPD


World Chronic Pulmonary Disease Day – WHO media centre

Research into Exercise training in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them. Moderate to severe COPD programmes should be done by a pulmonary rehabilitation team.

Walking for a longer, healthier life.

Did you know current research  by researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute has shown that participation in  regular exercise  after 40 may raise life expectancy by up to 7 years?

That regular exercise could be as something as simple as a brisk walk.

In addition to living longer regular exercise may also lower risk for memory problems.

I run a small group exercise class in Farnham Park every Friday morning for the over 50s. We combine a brisk walk with resistance exercises using dynabands or body weight.  This is a class for all levels of fitness – each exercise will have an adaptation for you.

So if you fancy living longer and being physically and mentally fit to enjoy those extra years why don’t you come along and join us. If you have any questions then please call Helen on 07785747669.

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.

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