Matt Roberts top fitness tips for women of any age
Health and fitness is important at any age
As we get older and look to keep in shape, the emphasis on what we do and how we do it becomes more important; as our lives get busier we have more responsibilities and less time. Achieving the best possible results in the quickest amount of time is important as most people Don’t have hours to toil away in the gym. These 10 top fitness and diet tips will help maximise your workout time, supercharge your health and help maintain a figure with which your’re happy.
Focus on using multi joint exercises such as squats and lunges for the lower body and press ups and vertical pull downs for the upper body. These exercises require you to develop correct multi joint movement in the body developing a well-rounded physique that is proportional. Not only this, they have the best carryover to developing your strength levels and developing perfect posture.
Start in your 20s
The benefits of exercise are obviously well documented but the earlier you start a regular fitness routine the better it will be in the long term. As you age muscles become weaker if inactive for a long period. This may mean that your posture can change increasing the risk of injury. The earlier you start a structured training programme including a mix of resistance work as well as cardiovascular exercise the better.
Having short and long term goals will help you to stay motivated. We set a range of goals for clients depending on what they want to achieve. Broadly speaking it is important to be able to control your body weight so performing a full press up is often the goal for a lot of people. That said it is not beyond some of our clients to try and master pull ups which is the ultimate upper body exercise.
From a cardiovascular standpoint it is not beyond most people to attempt a 10km run. You can build up to this gradually but with the right training most people should be able to break under 55 minutes.
Don’t avoid fat
Avoiding fat is advocated in many diets but it may do us more harm than good. Fat plays an important part in the formation of the cells in our body as well as hormone structure. Avoiding fat can therefore cause issues with our metabolic function meaning that processes such as our immune system cannot function appropriately. About 30% of your diet should come from a variety of sources of fat. If you are looking to supplement your diet then an Omega 3 supplement is most appropriate as it provides the types of fats that we tend to struggle with getting enough, it’s also found in salmon, mackerel and other oily fish.
What to do in your 40s
If you’re starting a new fitness regime in your 40s, never fear, it’s not too late to turn back the years. In fact as long as you build up steadily you can take your fitness levels beyond those in their 30s. Making sure you are doing the right thing is perhaps most important here so taking in to account any muscular strengths, weaknesses and any injuries that you may have had is important when trying to formulate the best plan.
Try to see a qualified fitness professional or a physiotherapist who can screen you to see if there are certain exercises that you may need to focus upon. Typically we see a lot of tightness around the hip area which may be helped with a sensible mobility programme.
Focus on good nutrition rather than calories
Calorie counting is an inefficient way of eating as it will take you away from the process of finding good nutritious food. Focus upon including plenty of lean meats and fish in your diet. Use vegetables and fruit as thebasis of all meals and snacks and then with higher calorie carbohydrate foods such as bread, rice and pasta based around the times when you are most active.
If you then change your portion sizes relevant to the amount of activity you are performing then you should be able to keep your diet balanced without any unnecessary fluctuations in body fat levels. Habits are important, concentrate on the process A lot of the time our clients get tied in to wanting to achieve a certain result.
While we do design programmes to drive towards a certain goal, its sometimes not the most productive method of maintaining motivation. We aim to focus on long term change by habit forming and effectively focussing upon the process rather than the overall result.
These habits if maintained can then set you up for long term success in your chosen training goal. For example, keeping suitably hydrated by drinking two litres of water daily, focussing upon consuming a sensible breakfast, making sure lean protein is served at every meal etc. By breaking this down into a series of smaller process goals it makes it easier to understand what it takes to achieve your chosen goal.
Holistic training programmes for better results
One method of training won’t necessarily guarantee you results so it is important to vary your training focus. With personal training we have the ability to use a variety of different influences in our training to makesure our clients continue to progress. Make sure that whatever activity you choose, it fits in with your lifestyle, suits your fitness needs and most importantly is something you enjoy as this will help you stick to it. Don’t cut carbs for a long period of time Low carb diets work in the short term for rapid fat loss.
However if used in the long term they can cause a slowing of the metabolism and harm other vital processes in the body which can be detrimental for your long term health. You carbohydrate intake should be matched to how much activity you perform. A lot of the time people are impressed by the initial weight lost during carbohydrate deprivation – this though is often due to hydration status as the body releases water and should not be confused with fat loss.
More is not always the solution
As your body becomes more efficient at exercise, one of two things have to change – either the intensity of what you are doing or the amount/volume. Taking up the amount of activity you perform may not necessarily benefit your goals. As you become fitter, to continue to see improvements in your fitness the emphasis should be on working more intensely. For instance, to work on your strength levels, increasing the weight you lift and dropping your repetitions down to below six will help you develop further.
In relation to cardiovascular exercise, higher intensity work such as intervals (short periods of high intensity) or tempo sessions (longer periods at an intensity close to what you may call your “race pace”) may elicit better training results.