The answer to long term fat loss and weight maintenance lies in resistance training. Not only is this type of training really important to prevent against conditions such as osteoporosis and postural dysfunction, but it is quite simply, the only way to ensure that you develop a body that is metabolically active throughout the day (not just when exercising).
Resistance Training will help you:
- Increase strength
- Improve sexual function
- Maintain or even increase bone mass as you age
- Increase metabolic rate
- Improve muscular agility, which is proven to help prevent incontinence
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Increase flexibility and balance
- Improve functional movement for everyday living
- It’s also both your best anti-aging tool and the best non-surgical alternative for remedying back problems
Perform a resistance training programme anywhere from three to six days a week. You could choose to combine upper and lower body in one session, or you could opt for specific muscle groups in each session.
Don’t train if you’re still sore from your last session, as your growth (and benefit) happens in the recovery period, not the training period. Therefore rest is absolutely vital to a good training programme.
Warming up and stretching
Make sure you warm up well and don’t stretch out (at the end of the session) the muscles you worked during the session. If, for example, you have just done a session that specifically targeted the chest, triceps and shoulders, you won’t want to decrease blood flow to the area by stretching these muscle groups (blood flow is important for nutrition delivery and waste removal). Rather, it’d be better to do a long, slow cool-down after your training session to ensure that blood flow remains optimal for waste removal.
In an ideal world, stretching would be done as a session on its own (after a good warm up), concentrating specifically on the muscles you know to be habitually too tight, or overworked. If you can’t manage to do a stand-alone stretching session, simply stretch those muscles you have not just worked (but that are tight), since you’ll be warm from your workout.
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Tanya Wyatt, is the (surprised) author of two internationally released health fitness books, a nutrition lifestyle coach, a presenter and a health educator (and stand-up comedian wannabe). In the past two decades, she has been involved in developing training courses, lecturing and writing on behalf of educational institutions, contributing to a number of health and fitness magazines, and going grey while she does it.
Tanya served on the Advisory Board of Shape magazine for the duration of its license in South Africa, and writes monthly columns for two Port Elizabeth newspapers, Sport Elizabeth and Algoa Sun. She also writes for several online publications and is a regular guest on the city’s local television station, Bay T.V. (she loves the limelight!)
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