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Women Its Your Health

Sustainability and Enjoyment

In honor of Women’s Month, I want to encourage you to keep two key priorities when it comes to setting fitness goals: Sustainability and Enjoyment. Oddly enough, these are also the two main things that people overlook and even dismiss as important when starting a workout routine. As a Personal Trainer, I’ve coached and encouraged hundreds of people to begin either for the first time ever or in a long while, a workout routine. I now know without a doubt, that slow and steady wins the race. If you start a habit that becomes so restrictive you can’t enjoy life or feel guilty pressure when you aren’t “succeeding” at it, it likely won’t be something you can maintain as a lifestyle. It isn’t likely the results will stick around much longer than your willpower to white knuckle through really high intensity workout classes or a strict diet.

You may have started this year with a resolution or a goal of “weight loss”, like many others. Contrary to what might seem like common sense, cardio is not the fastest route to losing body fat. Lasting results come from resistance training, and your bodyweight provides just enough resistance to start this habit and see massive changes in just a few months. The more frequently and consistently women devote time to strength training, the lower their body fat is*. Lower body fat has been linked to longevity and overall health.

There are plenty of studies now showing the benefits of strength training for women, but I want to share my top three that I know from personal experience as well as training hundreds of women:

1) Healthier bones and joints. If you have a mother who was raised on low carbs and cardio, that might be your go-to as well. Unfortunately, there could not be a better recipe for deteriorating muscle mass and speeding up the aging process. It’s not their fault; to be honest we didn’t really know better until fairly recently. Resistance training doesn’t need to be performed at the bodybuilder level to see results. The truth is, even at low to moderate intensity, bodyweight alone can and will produce massive benefits compared to inactivity or cardio alone. We know better now, so let’s do better!

2) Reduces anxiety This is a big one for me personally. I began lifting weights at the beginning of college as I was looking for a replacement for some bad habits. Anxiety around pretty normal life situations had begun to creep in, and I wasn’t even sure what I felt anxious or uneasy about. Making a habit of hitting the gym or even going for a walk at the same time every day is very powerful for your brain to gain focus and remain present. To this day - over a decade later! - it never disappoints me as long as I remember that I’m working on my self FOR my self.

3) Improves self-confidence and body image This is one that we all can benefit from! Life is so fast-paced now and it can be so tough to take time for yourself. Improving self-confidence and satisfaction with yourself can be a huge improvement in quality of life. When you have a way to focus on something you can do like lift weights or perform movements that make you feel strong and capable, not just value what you look like or see in the mirror, it’s pretty empowering.

Want a Full Body Workout, follow me on FB at hannahrgills and Instagram @hannah_trains