Weight Training for Women: Exercise Tips from a Trainer

You know exercise is good for your healthboth physical and mental. If you go for a jog every other day or take the stairs instead of the elevator, yay, you! Unfortunately, though, its not enough. In order to get the maximum benefits of exercise, your aerobic activities should be balanced by a proper dose of strength training. If theyre not, you could be missing out on key components of overall health and fitness.

ThirdAge sat down with Annie Merrifield, trainer and owner of Fit Denver in Colorado, to find out the benefitsand helpful tips!of weight training for women.

Weight Loss

According to Merrifield, Incorporating a combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercise into a workout has the potential to burn more calories than just cardiovascular exercise alone. To be successful in either losing or maintaining body weight, its essential to burn as many calories as possible and make the most use of your time spent exercising. Not only will you burn the same, if not more calories during the workout itself, but youll also burn more calories after the workout. The calorie burn can continue for up to 72 hours after an interval training workout. For example, if you burn 400 calories in a one-hour workout, your body could still burn another 100+ calories after the workout!

Strengthen BonesWomen over 50 need to incorporate weight bearing exercise into their everyday routines in order to strengthen bones and decrease the risk of fractures, osteopenia and osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercise can include any activity in which youre on your feet and bearing weight. Walking, jogging, hiking, dancing and weight training are just a few examples. As beneficial as cycling, rowing and swimming may be, unfortunately, those forms of exercise do not help strengthen our bones. Studies have shown that in just one year, a twice a week weight training program can increase the bone density of post-menopausal women while those who do not participate in such activities are likely to see a decline in their bone density. Quality of life in our later years depends on what we do today! Train with Friends Buddy-up! Strength training with a friend is a great way to hold you accountable to your goals and make even your least favorite exercises more enjoyable. Additionally, if you find it a challenge to remember the proper movement or form, having a workout partner can help ensure youre doing the exercise correctly and safely. If you need a little more assistance, hiring a personal trainer can be a much more affordable service when the cost is shared with a friend. Depending on your needs, a trainer can either assist in just one session or help guide you through each workout.
An Exercise to Try Right Now!Perform functional exercises as often as possible. Rather than relying solely on gym equipment that isolates just one muscle at a time, functional exercises work to activate many muscles at the same time in a manner identical to our activities of daily living. With functional exercises, youll be better prepared to handle the demands of everyday life such as traveling, playing with grandchildren, gardening, etc. An example of a functional exercise is a squat and overhead press. You can do this with one dumbbell or a medicine ball. Stand with your feet wide, holding the weight in front of you with both hands. Squat down, moving your rear back as you lower the weight towards the floor. Keep your back straight, shoulders down and head up with eyes looking forward. Dont allow your knees to travel beyond your toes. Return to standing and as you do so, raise the weight overhead. Repeat 10 15 times. This exercise strengthens legs, glutes, lower back, arms and shoulders. Whats your favorite exercise? Comment below.
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