Tag Archives: women toned muscle

Does Lifting Weights Make Women Bulky?

Should women lift weights to lose weight? Or will lifting weights make them bulky?

Let’s start by getting the basics right. Testosterone is one of the major hormones responsible for increase in muscle size. Women do not, and cannot naturally produce as much testosterone as men do. This also explains the reason why men are leaner and can carry more muscle mass than women. Female bodybuilders with muscular structures have a different training schedule and also take hormonal supplements in order to gain greater muscle mass.

Importance of Weight Training

Most women who workout are seen doing cardiovascular exercises(running,cycling,etc.) and prefer skipping the weight section. Cardio based workouts are improve stamina and heart health but focussing only cardio based exercises can result in muscle loss in the long run. Which essentially means that you will never get a toned physique.

Weight training helps in increasing lean muscle and strength. As your strength increases, you are able to do advanced exercises and move on to the next level. Also, it makes you physically stronger and energetic, making you more efficient. Research studies conclude that even moderate weight training can increase a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent. Research also shows that women can develop their strength at the same rate as men.

An increase in lean muscle increases the resting metabolism of the body, thus helping in burning more calories even during rest. For each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 to 50 more calories a day.

Weight training decreases your risk of osteoporosis. Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling) by 13 percent in six months. This, coupled with an adequate amount of dietary calcium, can be a woman’s best defence against osteoporosis.

Weight training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as a reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury. Studies have indicated that weight training can ease the pain of osteoarthritis and strengthen joints.

Weight training can improve cardiovascular health by lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. When coupled with cardiovascular exercise, heart health benefits are maximized.

Weight training may improve the way the body processes sugar, which may reduce the risk of diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes is a growing problem around the world. Research indicates that weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in four months.

A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms much more successfully than standard counselling did. Women who do strength training commonly report feeling more confident and capable.

The right fitness routine includes a balanced approach in terms of workout and diet. With such an approach women
can gradually gain more muscle and improve their body composition, resulting in a toned body with more lean muscle mass and less body fat.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Post Pregnancy Weight Loss Tips

Celebrity moms like Nicole Kidman and Heidi Klum- who lost all their pregnancy weight soon after delivery should not be good examples for post pregnancy weight loss. Post pregnancy, specially for breast feeding mothers, its important to ensure that you get appropriate nutrition, so that you can support yourself and your baby. Read on to understand..

Photo- Post Pregnancy Weight Loss (katsoulis@flickr)

At Fitho, we recommend healthy weight loss to be about 0.5 to 0.75 kg per week. To lose one pound per week, you need to create a deficit of 500 calories per day (either through diet or exercise). To reduce 500 calories from your daily calorie budget is not easy, so we recommend going on a proper post pregnancy weight loss plan, that will help you plan weight loss in a healthy way.

We don’t recommend crash diets at all. Besides being unhealthy for everyone, its worse for new mothers and their babies, since it deprives your body of basic nutritional requirements, affecting your health and that of the baby. The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care recently stated that mothers should take up to 1 year to lose their pregnancy weight. So, don’t hurry the weight loss. So, here are weight loss tips for post pregnancy:

Breast feed- Yes, breast feeding is great not just for your baby, but also for you to lose weight! It provides essential nutrients for the baby, and since its providing it from the mother’s body, it increases your calorie expenditure, thus helping weight loss!

Manage your diet- Before the baby was born, many mothers can eat whatever. But once the baby is born, if you want to lose weight, you need to watch your diet. Don’t underfeed yourself, but watch what you eat.

Exercise- As your strength returns, try to get some light exercise. As you build up strength and stamina, increase the duration and intensity of your exercise. Ensure that you get a customized exercise plan, so that you don’t overexert your body. Building some muscle will help you look toned as well, since muscle fiber is dense and helps burn calories and thus lose weight. See how Tanya lost her pregnancy weight.

After your pregnancy, it is important to lose weight the healthy way- get on a proper post pregnancy weight loss plan.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo