Heavy Weight

For some people exercise means going for that morning jog, jumping on the bicycle and going for a ride or your evening Zumba class. While cardiovascular exercise is important and plays a role in a healthy lifestyle, don’t forget about the all important strength exercises.

Strength training involves exercises where the muscle or muscle group have to overcome a resistance. The NHS recommends carrying out strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all major muscles in order to stay healthy.

Strength training has a whole range of benefits that you may not have thought of. It can improve your posture, reduces risk of osteoporosis, improve energy levels and increase metabolism.

Strength training will also not result in becoming “bulky”. Women do not have the same hormone profile as men so with a much lower level of testosterone women will not achieve the same size as men.

I believe that exercise should fit around your lifestyle and yours hours and strength training can also fit this. Strength training doesn’t have to involve resistance machines or dumbbells at the gym. How about starting at home with body weight exercises? Push-ups, squats, lunges or sit-ups are great starting points for strength exercises. They require no equipment and can be done at home while watching TV or early in the morning before the kids are up. Try to do 2 sets of each exercise, compromising of 8 to 12 reps.

Helen Mclaney, Personal Trainer

Helen is a personal trainer in Chelmsford. Visit her facebook page here

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