Tagged as: weights

Can Weight Training Help with Osteoporosis?

Question:
One of the more popular questions we get get from women is how to retain muscle and or bone mass as they are worried about osteoporosis as they age. Can weight training help with this?
Answer:
The short answer is yes! Weight training is the most effective way to help prevent this. Weight training or weight bearing exercises helps in development of greater bone and or muscle mass which has lasting effects on the lives of pre-menopausal, post-menopausal, and older women. In pre-menopausal women, developing greater peak bone mass as a young adult provides more time before the bones could begin to fracture and deteriorate.
When a women goes through menopause this signifies the decrease of estrogen production and is associated with bone loss (osteoporosis). The most common interventions for preventing and treating osteoporosis can include calcium supplementation, however exercise (weight training or weight bearing exercises) is the most effective way to keep Osteoporosis at bay! There are several studies on weight training that have found regular physical activity with weight bearing exercises that can help increase and more so maintain bone density. After the age of 35, women tend to start losing bone density which mostly has been attributed to inactivity and lack of weight training. The most effective way for women to prevent osteoporosis and try to obtain peak bone mass and retain the muscle or bone mass is to start a resistance-training regimen early and continue it throughout life. After all fitness is not something you do for a week or a couple months and think everything is fine and will be fine, it’s a lifestyle something you should embrace.  At Dynamic Health and Fitness we have a great personal training department with friendly and knowledgeable trainers that can help you reach your maximum potential and health and fitness goals – live life to the fullest!

Dumbbells Are a Girl’s Best Friend?

Some women tend to stick to a particular fitness routine that usually does not include lifting weights like dumbbells or kettlebells. Why? There is a perception one may become “big and bulky” or resemble The Hulk. This is not necessarily the case; in fact, women lack a certain balance of hormones, testosterone and growth hormones, to put on muscle mass the way men do. By differing in hormone levels, women are naturally more lean and feminine.

It would take a long-term commitment while consistently pushing yourself to do more than recreational workouts. In addition, it’s also going to take a big nutrition push.

Maintaining a fit and strong body allows your muscles to better support you throughout the day. Muscle mass helps you prevent and avoid serious back pain, have stronger bones, and improve your posture, balance and coordination. Lifting weights has several advantages to your overall body health and strength. In this post I’ll explain why all women should seriously adopt weightlifting into their fitness routines.


You Should Use Dumbbells Because:

It Burns Calories…Fast.

Lifting high level of weight can burn up to 500 calories an hour. Additionally, this also raises your metabolism for several hours after your workout. Many see the best results when they work-out a variety of muscles and minimize their rest time between sets. Ultimately, what you eat is the most important thing when it comes to weight loss. Weight training when paired with a healthy diet is the most effective method for dropping pounds.

Many people are looking for new equipment that takes up less space but has all the benefits of a traditional dumbbell. If you live in a small apartment or simply just don’t have the space, a few pairs of dumbbells are a space-saver that can be stored under the bed, or in the closet.

 Gain Muscle…Ditch the Bulk

In many cases, weightlifting does not cause a woman to “get bulky”. In fact, it allows them to tone their body by becoming leaner. The muscles you workout have stronger and thicker fibers. What does that mean? It means it enhances performance in endurance sports such as rowing, cycling, or running.

Steve Commando explains the importance of muscles in the blog post “Why Women Should Lift Weights.” While explaining why muscle is functional he explains “Got kids? Then, chances are, you’ve had to do your fair share of lifting, carrying and squatting. Ever moved house[s]? How did it feel to move the TV or big cumbersome pieces of furniture? Do you buckle under the weight of the weekly groceries?” I feel this is a perfect explanation of how often women rely on our muscles to conduct daily routines. By focusing on improving muscle strength, you can make daily challenges easier.

Prevent Injuries

Protect your bones and prevent injuries as you age by weightlifting. Starting with dumbbells is a perfect way to slowly increasing strength and allowing you move forward. Today, more women are at risk of developing Osteoarthritis (OA) making it important that women incorporate strength training into their fitness routines. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Studies show that weakness of the muscles surrounding the knee is associated with OA, especially in women, and makes the pain and stiffness worse after onset. Strengthening exercises for thigh muscles are important in reducing the risk.” Maintaining strong muscles through weight training can also potentially decrease your chances of certain diseases. These diseases may include:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Heart Disease

Strength training such as lifting dumbbells is important for cardiac health because heart disease risk is lower when the body is leaner. Many people feel self-confident as a result from their efforts. Some believe this plays a significant role in reducing symptoms of depression which has a strong impact on their overall quality of life. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “One 12-month study conducted on postmenopausal women at Tufts University demonstrated 1% gains in hip and spine bone density, 75% increases in strength and 13% increases in dynamic balance with just two days per week of progressive strength training. The control group had losses in bone, strength, and balance. Strength training programs can also have a profound effect on reducing risk for falls, which translates to fewer fractures.” Researchers have found that diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Lifting weights and strength training is found to have dramatically improved glucose control in a way that is comparable to taking diabetes medication.

Improves Posture & Coordination

Many people feel they have no real control over their posture and are unsure of how to correct years of neglect. Your posture comes from a variety of muscles surrounding your spine and strength of your mid-line. Many women focus on their efforts on their stomach area. Perhaps you want to be “bikini ready,” but in order to achieve a neutral spine and good posture, it’s important to develop all of these areas equally.

It’s a fact that as people age, bones become relatively fragile. Having poor balance and could contribute to fractures or broken bones. A seemingly minor fall can actually become severe. These fractures can result in disability and, in some cases, can be fatal. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Strengthening exercises, when done properly and through the full range of motion, increase a person’s flexibility and balance, which decrease the likelihood and severity of falls. One study in New Zealand conducted with women 80 years of age and older showed a 40% reduction in falls with simple strength and balance training.” Fitness Town carries a large variety of equipment designed for specific injuries and rehabilitation.

Weight Management & Sleep Improvement

Weight lifting can be considered as crucial to weight control; because individuals who have
more muscle mass have a higher metabolic rate. The higher the metabolism rate, the faster your body’s muscle tissues will consume calories.

Alternatively, people who exercise regularly are more likely to increase their sleep quality. You may find yourself falling asleep more quickly, sleeping deeply, awaken less often, and sleeping longer.

Too many women leave weight lifting to the boys; yet, it’s exactly what they should be doing. Let’s face it, strength is the new sexy for your body’s appearance and overall health. So get out your dusty dumbbells you have kicking around or find more options to mix up your weekly workouts to boost your health, trim down and firm up without the bulk.

Author: Marissa Jesko

Marissa Jesko is currently the marketing assistant for Fitness Town based in British Columbia and we thank Marissa for her contribution to our blog!

 

A Healthy Way of Losing Weight

ASK AN EXPERT: Dynamic Health and Fitness
Q. I want to lose a bit of weight before getting into my bathing suit for the summer. I’m doing cardio almost every day with minimal results. I don’t want to lift weights because I want to lose weight, not gain size. What would you suggest I change?
A. Cardiovascular exercises like walking, running and swimming get your heart rate elevated and you start to burn calories immediately. However, there are several factors that determine just how effective your cardio workout is in burning fat — namely: level of intensity, duration and frequency of your workouts and the type of exercise you’re doing.
To really optimize your results, I suggest adding resistance training to your cardio workout. This addition will help increase your lean body tissue without necessarily gaining bulk. The higher the proportion of lean tissue in your body, the faster your metabolic rate. In other words, your body becomes a more efficient “machine”, burning body fat for energy, not only during workouts but during your day-to-day activities.
If you haven’t tried resistance training, I suggest you start by seeking the advice of a professional personal trainer — someone who can help you develop a program tailored to your fitness capabilities and goals. Once you start, you should work your body in balance — front to back, left to right and top to bottom. Work your bigger muscles like glutes and quads harder than your smaller muscles like triceps and calves. Work up to an appropriate level of intensity so you’ll see the benefits of your efforts while avoiding injury.
Resistance training, along with cardio and flexibility training, is an important tool you should use in order to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. My fellow Dynamic Health and Fitness personal trainers and I can help you!