Benefits of weight training

Practicing Self-Care & Fitness Has It's Benefits

Practicing Self-Care & Fitness Has It's Benefits - By Guest Writer Sheila Olson

As we grow up, we pick up the belief that the greater the sacrifice you make, the greater the reward.  While working hard is essential for achieving your goals in life, the big question is when is how much striving too much? For many people, accomplishing their ambitions comes at the cost of their health. Self-care can help you regain balance in your life.

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Practicing self-care offers numerous mental, physical, emotional, and psychological benefits including:

•           Boosts your self-esteem and confidence

•           Helps you maintain healthy relationships

•           Relieves stress

•           Promotes focus, creativity, clarity, and productivity.

•           Improves your outlook on life

•           Promotes mental health

•           Builds resilience and problem-solving ability

•           Cultivates peace, calm and happiness in your life

The importance of fitness to your self-care routine?

Fitness helps you build strength and boosts your vitality to enable you to perform your daily tasks optimally. Exercising detoxifies your body and aids in maintaining a healthy weight, lowering your risk of diseases such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart diseases.

People in recovery stand to benefit significantly by including exercise into their lives. Studies show that exercising lowers stress levels while producing feel-good hormones. The feel-good hormones provide a natural high while the reduced stress levels reduce the urge to use drugs. Some people in recovery pursue exercise and sports as a means of self-actualization which keeps their minds occupied, gives them a sense of accomplishment, and boosts their self-esteem.

Incorporate fitness into your life

Identify an exercise you enjoy such as jogging, walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, boxing, hiking, aerobics, dancing, and weight training among others. Start exercising 20 minutes a day for 3-5 days a week and increase frequency, intensity, and length of time as your body becomes stronger. Incorporate self-care in your fitness routine by eating healthy whole foods and hydrating adequately. Also, avoid overtraining, and warm up and cool down for at least 10 minutes per session.

Integrating other self-care practices

Initially, it may feel like self-care is taking up too much time on your already busy schedule, or that it is selfish. Start out with smaller time-frames and build up gradually. The idea is to commit every day to do something that nurtures you, even if it is for five minutes. Self-care takes being deliberate and not making excuses.  Some days it will be easy to get in the flow, other days it may feel like a lot of work. Either way, keep showing up.

Occasionally take time out to just breath and literally smell the roses. Take morning or evening walks in nature. Every so often allocate time for a bubble bath, massage or a facial. Plan and begin saving up for that vacation you have been intending to take.

Create an end of the day ritual whereby 30 minutes before your bedtime, turn off all the electronics, dim the lights, and get in bed. Take a few deep breaths and allow your body to ease tension. Identify at least three things in your life or the day that you are grateful for. You may make a mental note of them or actually note them down in your journal. Allow yourself to lay relaxed, aware of your body until you drift away to sleep.

There will always be a new goal for you to pursue and things to do. Self-care may mean the difference between whether you go through life overloaded with stress, or with ease. Do not wait until the damage of neglecting yourself is done, take charge of your life now and find ways you can nurture your body, mind, and spirit.

Photo credit: Unsplash

PAPER TOWEL THEORY

I recently read this weight loss analogy that I found so motivating I thought I should share. I hope you find this helpful in your weight loss journey! 


By: Bob White

Let's assume you go out and buy two rolls of paper towels, each with only 84 paper towels on it (one for each day of the challenge). You put one aside, and keep it for future reference (your before picture).

The other one represents you (I'll call your paper towel you Ed). The core represents the lean Ed. The towels represent the fat that is covering the lean Ed. For sake of argument, let's say that Ed wants to lose 21 pounds of fat, so (84/21) each sheet represents a quarter-pound of fat lost. Let's also assume that Ed loses his fat equally during each day of the challenge.

Each day during the first week, you tear a sheet off of Ed, representing the fat he has lost for the day. Next, you put Ed next to the full roll ('Big Al') for comparison. No noticeable difference!!! Even at the end of the week! This can't be working for me!

But, being a good Ed, you continue to follow Body-for-LIFE. At the end of weeks two and three, you continue to compare Ed to Big Al, and still notice very little difference. That stinkin' Bill Phillips MUST be a liar!

But Ed is determined! He works hard! Hitting his 10's.eating his 6 daily meals. Three more weeks go by, the sheets peeling off day after day, before Ed gets up the courage to stand next to Big Al again. Holy Myoplex! Ed is skinny! OK, not skinny, but less huge!!!

By the end of the 12-week Body-for-LIFE program, Ed is down to his lean dream, or somewhere near it. Ed is happy. We are happy. Big Al - well he's not so happy.

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The lesson to be learned is that fat, like paper towels, comes off in sheets. When you are heavy, you are big around. And when you are big around,that fat is spread over a MUCH larger area - just like that outside towel sheet. The closer you get to the lean you, the more each lost pound of fat shows, because it is spread over a smaller area.

While the outside sheet may only cover 1 layer of the roll, the inside sheet may go around 4 times. That last sheet looks like it gives you 4 times the results of the first sheet, but in reality, the results are the same - your perception is just different! And you'll never see the inside, if you aren't patient while the outside is coming off!


HOW TO BODY SCULPT

Body sculpting is the process of increasing muscle and bone strength through weight lifting. Weight training is the combination of machines, weight bars, exercise bands, and dumbbells.

If you are going to weight train to sculpt your body here is some information you might need to know:

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●      How will weight lifting benefit you: Lifting weight is extremely important since it keeps you strong as you age, helps keep bone health and preventing osteoporosis. It increases muscle mass which is important as we age by preventing falls and broken hips. Besides all those important reasons most women want to feel better in their own skin and maybe fit into that bikini again. Feeling good about the way you look lifts confidence and gives you the power to create the life you desire.

●      Preventing fatigue during your workout: It’s very important to fuel your body so you have the strength to complete a workout. Therefore, always have a meal with protein, carbs and veggies at least a hour beforehand. There is nothing worse than having your blood sugar drop during a workout and not being able to complete it. Eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day will give the body what it needs to recover, lean up and build muscle. 

●      Facts of a good personal trainer: Your personal trainer should make sure you start at your own level and progress from there. He/she should also talk and instruct you through proper form and technique. As you increase strength your trainer should push you to that next level so you continue to improve, build and therefore, body sculpt.

●      Best tips for the beginners: Always do an active warmup before weight training. For instance, do 5-10 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical. As a beginner always start with a whole body workout for 3-4 weeks to get your joints strong and ready for weight resistance. After your workout is the best time to do static stretching for 10-15 minutes. Always hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.

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Taking the time to prep all your meals once a week will ensure you are getting the calories your body needs to fuel, recover and body sculpt. Support all the hard work you are doing in the gym with a nutritionally structured meal plan. Eating every 3 – 4 hours will help balance blood sugar, keep body full, help build muscle, and avoid binging. If you are not prepping your meals ahead of time there is no way you can stay on a structured plan and give your body what it needs to build and lean up at the same time. 

Meat and veggies

What are the best foods for sculpting your body? Whole foods in it's natural form will always be best. Protein such as chicken, fish, eggs and beef supply the body with the protein it needs to build and tone muscle. Proteins are the main building blocks of the human body. It serves the body by building and supporting the growth of tissues and molecules that help both structural and functional purposes. Carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, yams, quinoa and oats supply the body with energy and aids in recovery. Green veggies are important for fiber, they supply the body with vitamins and minerals, and fight off disease. Fats such as nuts, avocados and nut oils help with brain and joint health, helps you feel satisfied and also fights off cravings. 

Here are a few great sources you might consider:

●      Dark Turkey Meat: Dark turkey meat is enrich in zinc which helps boosting beauty and also gives new energy for performing physical activities. Moreover, it also helps in maintaining a healthy immune system.

●      Salmon: Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fat that lower your risk of heart disease. It is an excellent source of vitamin B12, B6, vitamin D and selenium. 

●      Prawns: Prawns are very low in calories, high in protein and consists of a mineral called selenium which is an antioxidant. It assist in maintaining thyroid health and the body's immune system. 

●      Eggs: Whole eggs are good source of the good fats omega 3 fatty acids. Whole eggs are a good source of vitamins B12, B2, B5, A, Folate, Phosphorus and Selenium. Eggs raise HDL good cholesterol. They are high in quality protein and all the essential amino acids. 

●      Lean Beef: Lean beef helps in increasing protein level in the body and provides iron to the bones. Lean beef is a good source of B vitamins, zinc, selenium and Iron.

●      Spinach: Spinach is a great source of magnesium, iron, B2 and B6, folate, Vitamin K, E & A, calcium and potassium. Spinach helps in making collagen in the body. Basically, collagen is a rubbery protein, which makes muscles and skin toned, youthful and gives it a great appearance. The fact is that this is also enriched with fiber which will help you stay satified.

●      Kale: This food is very low in calories but provides many health benefits such as, it is high in iron, and vitamin K. It is filled with powerful antioxidants and is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight against asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune disorder.

●      Beetroot: This is very powerful antioxidant and just like other vitamins and minerals this gives great impact to skin by giving it a youthful look. This also prevents skin from being damage.

●      Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a nutrient-dense superfood that offers many benefits. They help protect and maintain healthy blood pressure, and reduces blood glucose. Tomatoes also contain key carotenoids such as lutein and lycopene. These protect the eyes against light damage.

The body will always thrive on a structured plan and therefore create the best results faster. The body will continue to improve everyday if you are consistent with meal planning and weight training. 


The Benefits of Weight Training For Women

Exercising is extremely important for women, because the benefits far outweigh any other form of long-term weight-loss or ways to lead a healthy lifestyle. 

Weight training reason #1: Loss of body fat and increased muscle. Lean muscle increased metabolism, which in return keeps you lean.

Weight training reason #2: Decreases the risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone density.

Weight training reason #3: Helps you gain strength so you can stay active for a better quality of life.

Weight training reason #4: A strong body helps reduce the risk of injury and/or falls later in life. 

Weight training reason #5: Strengthens core and back to help reduce back pain and improves posture. A strong back helps keep shoulders back for proper posture as your age. 

Weight training reason #6: Research shows it can reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol, increasing good cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. Research also indicates that weight training may reduces the risk of diabetes because it improves the way the body processes sugar, according to Dr. Barry A. Franklin, of William Beaumont Hospital.

Weight training reason #7: Improves attitude, mood and reduces stress and depression.

Regular workouts are beneficial for your body in many ways and should be a part of your daily routine. Before you start exercising, it is essential to make a workout plan and choose workouts that are appropriate for your level. However, many women don’t have a slightest idea, which exercises to choose, and how to perform them.

Below are some example exercise programs that include all the main body parts. These are simple exercises that you can do at home, while on a vacation or with friends, basically anywhere. But, before you start any training program, make sure you do an active warm up for 5-10 minutes and always check with your doctor before starting any new workout program.


Arms

Next to six-pack abs, one of the most attractive body parts is the arms. Being a workout pro or a beginner, it is that muscle group that almost every woman wants to perfect. There are many arm exercises that are great for both biceps and triceps. One of them is the exercise called standing bicep curls. In order to do this exercise you should choose a band, d-bells or barbell where you can get 12-15 reps with each set. All you have to do is stand with a band under both feet, keep knees slightly bent, core tight and chest lifted. Then, grip the handles and start doing a bicep curl. Squeeze your biceps and then lower holding the resistance for a count of three, repeat 12-15 times. After incorporating this arm exercise into your workout routine, you’ll be able to see a difference. 

Back and Chest

A strong and firm back creates beautiful posture. Who wouldn’t want that? With a few simple back and chest exercises, you’ll no longer be dreaming of it. An exercise called sitting rows will help you acquire that. All you have to do is sit on the floor with your legs straight, core tight and chest lifted. Grip the handles and start doing a row. You should keep the elbows close to the body for a better effect and repeat the exercise 12-15 times. For a beautiful and firm chest you can do an exercise that involves pushups on feet or knees. 

Shoulders

Want to take your shoulders to the next level? An exercise called Upright Rows will help you with that. The instructions are very clear and straightforward. Stand with the band under both feet, with your knees slightly bent, core tight and chest lifted. Then, cross the bands so you are holding them in opposite hands. Start doing an upright row by lifting with elbows first. Remember to bring the elbows to shoulder height so there is no shoulder impingement. You should repeat the exercise 12-15 times with every set.

Legs & Booty

Great legs and booty are the essence of a perfect physique. If you’ve been struggling to find an appropriate exercise for legs, here’s a perfect one. It’s called Squatted Band Walks and all you have to do is sit back on your heels in a squat position, keeping your chest lifted. With the left side being first, take a big step out to the side. Keeping the resistance tight in the band, continue until you reach 15-20 reps and then change the direction. So simple and yet so efficient!

Abs

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Oh, the abs. You don’t have to work your abs to exhaustion before you can carve out your abs. Instead, you can try out a few simple exercises that will get your abs to pop. There’s a really great one with a 6-8 lb. medicine ball and it goes like this – lie on the floor face up, put the ball between your legs. Bring your legs up meeting your hands and reach with the ball in your hands overhead while the legs go back down to the floor. You will find this exercise will do miracles!

Keeping your body fit can be challenging sometimes. However, these few simple exercises will help you get the physique you always wanted. You can even make an exercise plan and perform these body part workouts in 4 separate days. Grab a medicine ball, band, d-bells or barbell, always remember to warm up and you’re ready for some action. Your body will thank you later.

Ultimately -- 
YOU HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE!
That is the first secret.

If you make the right choice, you can look forward to a younger, more confident, and happier you