2nd May, 2012
Sometimes we get in a slump in life, and for various reasons we lose our energy and drive. Our metabolism slows down. We gain weight. When we are heavier, we don’t feel like moving much. It’s a merry-go-round….until we devise a plan to jump off.
Here’s one way to wake up a stagnant metabolism and gain some energy:
In the morning before you start your day, run or jog in place, jump rope (skipping) or use your staircase (if you have one) for five minutes. You can do that, can’t you? During your mid-morning break and then again at lunch, take a brisk five-minute walk or climb up and down the stairs. When you get home from work, use your skipping rope or stairs again for five minute. We don’t recommend exercise before bed because most people will be so charged up and won’t fall asleep! But by dividing your work-out into small portions throughout your day, you get the benefit of twenty minutes of aerobics without using a large block of time.
Research has shown that several short burst of exercise each day jump-starts a sluggish metabolism. As your strength and energy increase, you can lengthen each exercise segment to ten minutes. Think what will happen to your health and figure then.
There are several good health reason to begin a strength-training programme. Research over the past few years indicates that working out with weights improves the body on the inside too. Look at these benefits:
STAY STRONG: If you don’t exercise, you will lose 30-40 per cent of your muscle capacity by age sixty-five. That’s almost half your strength! Two-thirds of the great grandmas in Nigeria can’t lift anything heavier than ten kilogrammes. Please don’t think this is another unavoidable effect of ageing. Use it or lose it friend! Muscles that go unused become weaker and weaker. They were made to be worked long into those golden years.
BUILD STRONG BONES: For years weight bearing exercise (aerobics) was thought to be the way to maintain your bone mass. Now studies show that resistance training will do the same thing. At age thirty-five or so, most of us begin to lose up to 1% of our bone per year. After menopause, the loss is even greater. When you lift weights you stress the bone, stimulating its growth. Combine weight training with aerobics and the body confidence diet, and you have a plan to battle arthritis and osteoporosis.
MORE BALANCE FEWER INJURIES
As you strengthen muscles in every section of your body, your balance improves. You are less apt to fall. In addition, as the muscles increase, new circulatory paths are created, bringing a fresh blood supply to heal injured areas. Tightened muscles hold your head high, shoulders back, and tummy flat. Improved posture gives you a new sense of confidence. You look and feel very confident person!
This is the best discovery of all! Weight training awakens your metabolism to burn more calories, even when you are resting! Your resting metabolism is the number of calories needed to maintain your body’s important functions like pumping blood and digesting food. Muscles need more energy. The bigger and stronger your muscles, the more calories you will burn. Now that’s not an excuse to eat more, but it will make your body more efficient. On the other side of the mirror, if you don’t build up muscle mass, you will burn fewer calories no matter how little you eat. Not a pretty picture, is it?
Now you don’t need to worry. You won’t end up as a competitor in the World Wrestling Federation. Women don’t have the hormonal or structural makeup to become as big as men. If you work-out with weights consistently, say three times a week, every other day, you will see a huge difference in about six weeks. But not in size. The improvements will show up as tight, contracted muscle (even those big arms we’ve complained about!), better shape, better balance and posture, more confident, smaller clothing size and possibly a slight weight gain.
Weight gain? Count me out, you say. But muscle weighs more than fat. And it looks firmer, tighter and smaller, plus as you stay on the body confidence plan, decreasing your calories and upping your exercise, you will be losing fat and increasing muscle. Don’t worry about the scale. If you’ve been overweight from extra fat, you should see a drop in kilogrammes but notice how your clothes fit. Look in the mirror. Do you see a difference in your shape? Disregard set weights on charts.