Choosing the Right Women Fitness Exercise Program for Optimal Results
Exercises for women are not the same exercises that men do. My women fitness exercise program targets the special needs of a woman’s body with special focus on building strength to help reduce the potential for injury and building a lean, trim, body.
According to Heath Canada, scientists suggest we accumulate 60 minutes of physical activity every day to stay healthy.
Here are their recommendations:
• Endurance - 4 to 7 days a week, perform continuous activity for your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. Time required for improvements depends on the effort and your personal goals.
• Flexibility - 4 to 7 days a week, perform gentle reaching, bending, and stretching to keep muscles relaxed and joints mobile.
• Strength - 2 to 4 days a week, perform resistance exercise to strengthen muscle and bones and improve posture.
Recommendation from The American College of Sports Medicine are as follows:
• Perform 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week for cardiovascular health. The 30 minutes need not be continuous.
• Performing 1 set of 8 to 12 repetitions of resistance training for the entire body is necessary to maintain and develop muscular strength and endurance.
• Flexibility training should be performed daily, including stretching, for all major muscle groups, in order to maintain mobility.
You will gain significant health benefits just by adding physical activity to your daily routine. Your benefits will increase as you add more activities to your day.
And many people may not know that exercise does more for you than just help you lose weight or build muscle. Regular physical activity is a prescription for helping decrease stress; relieve depression, anxiety, heartburn and constipation; increase happiness; improve your love life and fitness level; and prevent diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, osteoporosis and cancer.
Now that you understand the importance of exercise – it’s time to understand why choosing a smart women fitness exercise program that is built for success will help you achieve your fitness goals faster and in a safe manner.
The Importance of Adding Muscle to your Women Fitness Exercise Program
Benefits of adding a few pounds of muscle to your physique
- let’s not forget that resistance training increases cardiovascular strength
- reduces incidence of injuries
- improves posture
- improves strength
- improves body composition
- prevents osteoporosis
- reduces loss of muscle mass due to inactivity
The issue here is that there is only so much storage in a muscle. You need to lift heavy weight in order to increase the size of your muscle.
In the unlikely chance of too much muscle being built, all you would need to do is drop the weight, and take in less calories. Resistance training is the cornerstone to a balanced and effective training program. You need to lift heavy in order to build muscle so that you have sexy legs, a tight tush with that nice separation between your hamstrings and butt, a firm but tiny waist, sweet shoulders and defined arms to top it off. You cannot change your genetics to the degree that you will look like a man if you are a women, unless you are “trying” to do so.
‘It’s okay to say the word “bodybuilder.” A bodybuilder is simply an individual who wants to gain muscle and lose fat. If you want to do both of those - you’re a bodybuilder!’
GET LIFTING WOMEN…..THE ONLY REGRET YOU’LL HAVE IS NOT DOING IT SOONER!
Looking for a Women Fitness Diet Plan that Works
AVOID THE FOLLOWING:
»» Low Carbohydrate diets deplete the liver and muscle of energy, which causes muscle wasting, lack of energy, and will compromise your health. This means your workout intensity will suffer and you can’t build lean muscle to give your body an hourglass figure.
»» Low Calorie diets, while reducing body weight (usually for a short period of time), will ultimately poorly affect your health and in most cases will have a rebound effect. This means you might drop some weight temporarily but it’s only a matter of time before you gain it all back, plus some.
»» Low calories will reduce muscle mass and strength. This means your metabolism plummets, making it harder to lose fat and longer to gain that beautiful, sexy shape to your shoulders, arms and butt. When nutrient intake is low, the metabolic rate will become low for three reasons: decreased thyroid function, reduced thermic effect of eating and reduction in muscle mass.
While reductions in muscle mass cause a lack of endurance (especially during exercise), in turn, will lead to osteoporosis and lack of independence as you age.
Women fitness exercise programs have different nutrition needs than men. Learning what to eat and when to eat it is an important part in learning to how to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. My goal is to provide healthy options for your diet while still being delicious.
Some tips of mine below:
Eat Protein and Fats for Breakfast
Thank goodness for Ben Pakulski who taught me this simple fact. After telling him I seem to crash mid-afternoon, he told me to try ground beef and eggs for breakfast. I know that sounds gross but it works and it’s actually tasty. Charles Poliquin calls it “The Meat and Nut Breakfast”. This is all about controlling your hormones. Give your kids “the meat and nut breakfast” and see their marks increase.
Eat Carbohydrates After Your Workout ONLY
Thanks to John Berardi’s nutrition certification I learned that carbohydrates should be used only to refuel and repair after a workout. This is the biggest contributor to staying lean all year-long. As my husband Vince would say, “What portion of your body is made up of carbohydrates? NONE – therefore we can only use a small amount of them before the body will store them”.
My Must HAVE list for any women fitness exercise or nutrition program is as follows:
1. Improved Body Composition. Physiologically meaning less body fat tissue and more muscle tissue. In plain English, you look smoking hot in anything you wear. 2. Improved Heath. Physiologically, this means strong tendons, ligaments, and joints; less stress on your heart and all of your internal organs; improved gas exchange; optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients; and a kick-butt immune system. In plain English, your body feels young, energized and efficient.
3. Improved Strength, Endurance & Flexibility. Physiologically, your muscles contract forcefully, your heart beats powerfully and your muscles travel through a full range of motion. In plain English, if not improved, weak and shortened muscles perform slower and have a higher chance of injuries. Plus, posture looks sloppy and the body moves like an old lady. A male friend told me his number one turn off is a woman with poor posture.
Check out this video on the HIIT formula to burning fat fast!
There will always be times in your women fitness routine that you can’t make it to the gym or even your home. It is important to be prepared ahead of time so that it does not disrupt your progress and your fitness goals.
Here are my tips from a recent trip my husband and I took:
1.We pre-packaged and pre-cooked our meals before we left. Vince and I bought packaged salads and nuts for the plane ride down. We brought our shaker cups and protein powder and took a greens product and multi-vitamins in case we missed out on any veggies.
2.Planning our workouts! We woke up early each morning to fit in cardio. This means we also went to sleep at a decent hour all nights except one! Planning is everything. We strategically planned our workouts before we left home. We chose to take Thurs and Mon off training as these were our travel days. We added weights on the nights we could and if we didn’t want to go back at night, we simply just added some cardio post weights in the morning. Make it work in your women fitness routine!
3.We found a grocery store as soon as we got to the hotel and asked for a microwave and mini-fridge for the room. First thing we did after check-in was take a trip to the healthiest food spot for convenient food that matched our nutrition criteria. We brought these foods back to the hotel and used them pre and post workouts. We not only saved money, but a lot of calories. When it came time for dinner, we passed on what we wanted to pass on and also indulged some too.
4.We said NO to a lot of bread, dessert, and alcohol…and said yes on a few occasions. Notice I used the word few. Taking opportunities to skip on unhealthy empty calories makes the difference of looking good VS. looking average.
7 Key Traveling Women Fitness Exercises
These exercises target your lats but also hits your tere major (stabilizer muscle) and biceps (more so with chin-ups). Your core and middle back are also involved in assisting in the movement or acting as stabilizers.
How to perform:
1. Grab the bar with a shoulder-width underhand/overhand grip.
2. Hang at arm’s length and pull your chest to the bar.
3. Try to pause at the top, with your chest touching the bar before you slowly lower yourself back down.
This exercise targets your pectoralis major but also involves your front deltoids and triceps. As for stability muscles, your rotator, traps, serratus anterior and abdominals all assist with this movement. This is hands down one of the best women fitness exercises for traveling.
How to perform:
1. Place hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your glutes for the entire movement.
2. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Tuck your elbows as you lower your body and don’t drop your hips.
3. Pause at the bottom before pushing yourself to start position. Your head should remain in the same position throughout the movement.
3. Inverted Shoulder Press
The shoulder press targets your front deltoids, middle deltoids, and the triceps. They also activate your upper traps, rotator cuff and serratus anterior which act as stabilizer muscles.
How to perform:
1. Assume a pushup position but move your feet forward and raise your hips so that your torso is nearly perpendicular to the floor.
2. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width and keep your arms straight.
3. Without changing your position lower your body until your head nearly touches the floor.
4. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position pushing your body back until your arms are straight once again. Note: this is a tough one!
These exercises target your quadriceps, but also activate your core and every muscle in your legs including your glutes, hamstrings and calves. This exercise burns a ton of calories and is a must-have home exercise for women.
How to perform:
1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Lower your body as far as you can while pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Never let your back round and keep your core tight.
3. Pause at the bottom and slowly push yourself back to the start position by keeping the weight in your heels.
*For extra burn add in a jump from the squat position.
5. Stability Ball or Towel Leg Curl
This exercise is great for targeting your hamstrings and glutes and also activates your lower back muscles and core. Because the glutes are the largest muscle in the body, any exercise involving your glutes will burn a lot of calories.
How to perform:
1. Lie face up on the floor with arms to your side in a 45 degree angle with palms facing up. Place your lower legs and heels on the stability ball.
2. Push your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (here you are doing a hip raise).
3. Without stopping, pull your heels towards your glutes and roll the ball as close as you can to your behind.
4. Pause and reverse the motion – do not lower your body to the floor. Keep your hips as high as you can to engage your glutes. Focus on keeping your hips in line with the rest of your body throughout the entire exercise.
*If you are using a towel, simply put your heels on the towel and copy the same format above. If you want an extra burn try one leg at a time!
6. Single-Leg Toe Hops off Bench or Chair
This exercise targets your calves but also incorporates your quads, hamstrings, glutes and gets your heart rate up to the fat-burning zone.
How to perform:
1. Stand in front of the bench or chair and place the right foot firmly on the bench.
2. Press your right foot into the bench and push your body up until your right leg is straight.
3. Hop up on your right toes.
4. Lower your body until the left foot touches the floor and repeat with the left foot.
This exercise improves the strength in your back and will help with performance. Planks target the entire core, making this exercise a must-do for health and appearance sake.
How to perform:
1. Lie on the right side with knees straight and prop your body up on your right elbow and forearm. Your left hand can be placed on your hip, head should stay in line with your body.
2. Position your elbow to stay under the shoulder and keep your hips raised and pushed forward. Keep your abs tight throughout and raise the hips until it forms a straight line from your ankles your shoulders.
Knowing the foundation behind what women fitness exercises you are performing and why is key to meeting your weight loss goals. There is a right and wrong way to exercise. You can spend hours doing the wrong form of exercise and never see a difference in your body. Happy Travels!
3 Components in Fitness Nutrition for Post Workout
There is so much confusion about what to and what not to eat post-workout. The important thing to remember is that women fitness nutrition in general needs some clear and factual intelligence to make overall health better. If the other meals of the day are not executed properly, you will not achieve your goals from your workout. Women have different nutrition needs than men. Learning what to eat and when to eat it is an important part in learning to how to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. My goal is to provide healthy options for your diet while still being delicious.
The foods we choose to refuel our body post-exercise is vital in meeting our body’s needs.
Let’s make some sense of this confusing topic by discussing the main reasons why we workout. For me, and I think I speak on behalf of MOST of the world’s population, there are 3 main reasons to exercise:
Improve body composition
We need to focus on what our body experiences during exercise in order to determine what nutrients are needed for the body. During an intense workout, we are breaking down muscle tissue (protein breakdown), essentially damaging the tissues. This sounds bad, but this is actually what makes us lean and muscular, stronger and fitter. But this damage needs to be repaired and the muscle rebuilt (protein synthesis).
Essentially, post-workout women fitness nutrition needs to do 3 things:
Replenish glycogen (our body uses fuel when exercising and uses our glycogen stores for fuel)
Stop protein breakdown (or catabolism)
Promote protein synthesis (build and repair)
Muscle building occurs when our body receives a positive protein balance during recovery. Protein synthesis is triggered (while protein breakdown is suppressed) when consuming the right type of nutrients after exercise. Let’s also remember that our body depletes stored carbohydrates (glycogen) during exercise, which need to be refilled, meaning our body NEEDS protein and carbohydrates post-workout.
During exercise and post-exercise, our blood circulates more rapidly to our muscle, especially the muscles being trained. If we strategically put the nutrients needed for building and repair into our bloodstream at the right times, our body will effectively be able to recover and replenish more efficiently.
This brings us to the “window” of opportunity. During this window, our muscles are primed to accept nutrients that can stimulate muscle repair and growth. Research suggests this window is opened immediately after a workout. While protein synthesis lasts for up to 4 hours, our body will receive the most benefit from nutrients within two hours after exercises. If you wait too long to refuel your body, a decrease in glycogen storage and protein synthesis occurs.
So What Should I Eat?
Let’s recall what it is that we are trying to achieve with post-workout women fitness nutrition:
Stop protein breakdown
Promote protein synthesis
This tells us we need carbohydrates to replenish and protein to prevent further breakdown and promote rebuilding.
FUN FACT: Rosemary may decrease the presence of harmful fats that form during cooking
This recipe is perfect for after a workout because it contains protein and carbohydrates. Try them this week and let me know below what you think!
I cannot lay claim to this recipe. I found it a few months back in Oxygen magazine and finally tried it. It rocks!
Turkey Flaxseed Muffins
What you need:
1 pound ground turkey breast
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
3 tbsp grated Parmesan
3 springs fresh rosemary, minced
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 lg sweet potato, quartered and cooked
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp course sea salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until everything is well blended. If doing by hand, mash the sweet potatoes with a fork and combine well with the other ingredients.
Spray a 12-muffin tin with cooking spray. Evenly divide mixture amongst muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool before serving.
Saturated Fat: 1g
Trans Fat: 0g
BUILD AND REPAIR FOR A PROPER WOMEN FITNESS NUTRITION PLAN!
Because our window is small, we need to ensure we have quick digesting carbohydrates and quick digesting protein post-workout for women fitness nutrition. Sources such as isolates and dextrose, or a recovery drink, are best taken at this time. You can make your own recovery drink with protein powder and dextrose or stick to whole foods such as fish and white rice. Whole foods digest slowly, which is why most fitness enthusiasts choose liquid post-workout over whole foods.
We want to continue to take advantage of the two-hour “window”, and therefore consume whole foods within two hours of exercising. Because we are still in prime building and repairing mode, we again want to have a quick digesting protein and some form of carbohydrates. I choose to eat complex carbohydrates here as I have already replenished my glycogen stores with a recovery drink and want to ensure I am not consuming too many calories that will in turn be stored as fat.
**Start with 30 grams of carbohydrates and 20 grams of protein for a recovery meal immediately following your workout.
Forgetting to properly fuel your body is a detrimental step in your women fitness nutrition plan. It can set you back and hinder your progress. If you want to be the best you, you will remember the tips I have suggested and start implementing them right away into your women fitness nutrition plan for optimal results.
One of the hardest things to do is plan entire meals that are healthy. I provide easy to follow recipes and meal plan ideas to help make it easier for you to stay on your fitness diet while still having tasty food.