Updated: Jan 11
I am not going to lie to you. Weight gain becomes more challenging as we get older, particularly as the motivation to exercise shifts, and life gets super busy raising families, juggling work, hobbies and other commitments. All too often hours at the gym are shelved has other priorities take the spotlight.
However, it does not matter how old you are, if you need to lose weight and tone up there are proven ways to real results.
One type of exercise all women need to add to their week is weight training, also known as strength training or resistance training. Weight training will not only help with losing weight but will also trim and tone your body. Age does not matter when hitting the weights. It has been shown that women as old as 70 who have started to weight train and have improved their body strength within a very short while.
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Why Weights Are Effective Fat Burners
In coaching my more mature female clients, weight training is an important element in fighting flab; perhaps, the most important. If you practice only aerobic exercise you just burn fat during the exercise phase, but with weight training you burn fat even when you have finished. That's right, the body is still burning fat for up to as much as twelve hours afterwards, in addition to building up the muscles worked! Yep, in essence, you can still be burning fat while you are resting. But that is not the end of the story.
A body full of muscle naturally burns more calories than a body full of fat. Once you start weight liftings, you may find you need to eat more to maintain your weight and your muscle. But don't worry about bulking up like a bodybuilder, this is actually harder for women. It can be done, but most women who lift (not to compete but just for general fitness) will have more elongated and defined muscles, and build a nice, flattering lean muscle structure.
Some Things To Realise Before You Start
When you first start weight training whether with myself, another qualified PT trainer or on your own, you might find that your weight will actually increase. This is because muscle is heavier and weighs more than body fat. Don't be tempted to keep checking the scale. Muscle is smaller in structure compared to its equal weight in body fat, so you should notice your body becoming smaller--even if the scales do not show an decrease in weight.
Weight training helps to strengthen and increase the density of your bones because the act of the muscles pulling and flexing the bones helps to lay down more bone fibre. This is important as we age as women, and especially for those of menopausal age. Lifting weights in your 40s, 50s and beyond has many health benefits.
As we age, our muscles can become weak as part of the natural ageing process, lack of exercise and our lifestyle choices. Lifting iron in middle age, naturally builds stronger muscles and helps your body to be more steady on your feet. This helps to prevent nasty falls and ensures you age more gracefully.
A body that is active, is less likely to store fat. The constant demand for energy encourages your body to burn its stores and make better use of the foods you eat. Those women who lift weights regularly, 2 - 4 times per week, will find that they more effectively fight the build up of abdominal fat than those who don't. And it don't take much to get started, you can even do it at home!
Lastly, the secret to effective weight training is to make sure that you change your routine up every 10 days so that the body has to adapt continually. It only takes the body about two weeks to adapt to the same daily stimulus. If you keep things the same whether diet, exercise or routine, will adjust and that's when you stop seeing any more weight loss, muscles gains or bodily changes. Keep kicking it up a notch!
So have fun and start weight training to lose weight and tone your body.
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