We all need to keep fit. Research shows that the fitter women are, the more likely they are to make a quick recovery from illness or injury. They are also more likely to sleep soundly, and be less stressed. With all these benefits, what’s not to like about exercise? Well, perhaps it’s the vast array of advice and equipment around. Stepping into a gym can be intimidating. The equipment on show, and the sweating, muscle-bound men can be daunting, not to mention figuring out what to do with the mind-boggling elastic band, or choosing which dumbbell to pick up.
Read on for some tips on how to exercise well, and reap the benefits of targeted exercise, such as improved posture and injury prevention.
Warm-ups and injury prevention.
Is a indulging in a warm-up a waste of time, if you only have an hour before you need to be home? Most definitely not! A warm-up is one of the most important things you can do for your body before exercising. Take the time to warm-up correctly, and send a message to your muscles that you are about to give them a good workout. If you launch into vigorous exercise, without giving your body time to adjust, you put yourself at risk of sprains, tears and painful injuries. A warm-up should consist of getting slightly out of breath, and stretching your muscles. To begin with, gently warm-up by moving slowly, but with purpose. When you feel slightly out of breath it’s time to begin your stretching. Your limbs should feel loose and warm before you launch into more energetic routines or sport. Don’t forget to stretch your back and hips, as these can be forgotten. Gentle yoga poses are a good way of stretching out your muscles during a warm-up.
Balance, plyometrics and injury prevention.
Exercising isn’t all about sweating and getting out of breath. Balance is also important to your over-all feeling of well-being. If you feel off-key, or if you can feel yourself slowing down as you get older, then working on your balance skills can improve how you feel. As you improve your balance, you’ll notice that your co-ordination will be sharper, and your posture improved. An important reason to focus on balance skills is because it can help prevent injuries in later life. We have all heard about the elderly falling and sustaining an injury, so do yourself a favour and improve your chances of living a healthy and independent life later on.
Plyometrics consist of exercises that exert maximum force as quickly as possible. Plyometrics are often used by athletes to improve their competitive performance. Examples are a repeated rapid jump, or quick punching motion. These movements strengthen muscles, allowing you to take on even more strenuous exercise. Plyometrics are an excellent way to tone up, and burn off excess body fat. As well as ridding you of excess pounds, research indicates they can also help to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. This is because women’s (and men’s) bones are always re-building. By putting stress on your bones, you encourage them to rebuild and strengthen more often, giving you a good healthy bone structure, which is the best form of defence against osteoporosis in later life.
BOSU ball training.
A BOSU ball is an inflated half ball, which is attached to a rigid plastic base. They are used increasingly in gyms, and form part of every personal trainer’s armoury. They are effective as the unstable ground encourages your muscles to work harder with each repetition. BOSU ball training can be particularly effective for women, as it strengthens the core muscles of the abdomen. This can improve your posture, leading to a better figure, without actually having lost any weight. BOSU ball training helps banish lower back pain too, loosening up muscles if they have been left to their own devices in front of a computer all day.
All of the above methods contribute to a toned, healthy body. Female training is about more than sweating at the gym. By targeting your muscles with plyometrics, and by concentrating on your posture and balance, you will create a well-proportioned, glowing new you.
This post was written by Dane Michael