As summer comes to a close, it is time to get our minds and bodies back into a regular routine. This month I want to focus on women’s health by highlighting key fitness goals to get you ready for fall.
There are many types of exercises available these days – from yoga and Pilates to kickboxing and Zumba. I firmly believe, however, that the most important exercise for women who want to see significant results and fight the effects of aging is strength training. This can include squats, pullups, pulldowns, lunges and pushups.
The goal of strength training is to build muscle. A little bit of extra muscle will act like a furnace and burn body fat while you rest. If you practice yoga or run every day, you might lose some weight; but I highly doubt you will decrease your body fat very much. You will see a change in your body, however, by lifting weights and eating healthy. Remember: You never want to lose muscle, which is a side effect of consuming too few calories or overextending your cardiovascular training.
Women gain many benefits from strength training, including increased metabolism and bone and joint strength, improvement in balance, posture and cholesterol, and stress reduction. Here at The Grove, we offer high-intensity personal training and Total Resistance Exercise (TRX) classes, which increase your heart rate and burn calories.
If you really want to transform your body, I challenge you to dedicate at least three days per week to strength training workouts. Don’t forget: If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
Jim Cotta is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the NSCA and a certified golf fitness instructor with Titleist Performance Institute. He was the head strength coach for the Los Angeles Lakers through 2004. Jim is now the fitness director at The Grove.