Sunday, July 12, 2009
I haven't done any exercise for two weeks. I don't go to the gym anymore, I just jump rope, dance, do pilates three times a week, yoga every day and do lots of squats and walking lunges with light to moderate weights twice a week. In the gym i used to leg press 180 pounds! I'm a lot stronger than I look. I never do heavy weights on my upper body though. If you have some weight to lose, apart from doing cardio, you need to lift at least moderate weights because building muscle burns fat. Weightlifting reshapes your body in a way hours on the treadmill can't. You won't bulk up so far as you're consuming less calories. Rather than spend an hour walking on the treadmill, sprint for a minute or two then walk. Repeat five times. Then do 10 minutes of jump rope. Then do some walking lunges. Then some jumping jacks. Then some girl push ups. Then jump squats. Full body movements. So much more effective. Even if you just want to maintain your figure you should also lift weights 2-3 times weekly to keep yourself toned and strong, skinny fat isn't much better. When you have muscle tone you age less rapidly, everything stays in place well into your 50's and beyond. It also prevents osteoporosis. Pilates is great for this purpose. I feel a lot taller since I started doing Pilates. It lengthens your muscles and stops you getting bulky from weightlifting. Now I only do light weights once or twice a week at home. Once you get to where you want to be, you can cut back from working out 4-6 times a week to just 2-3 times a week. Even skinny girls should do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3 times a week just to keep yourself healthy. It's important to know when to stop and also to know your body. If you have broad shoulders like I have, don't ever work your shoulders directly. If you have big thighs use light or no weight when doing squats. If your pear-shaped tone your lower body with light to moderate weights and cardio and emphasise your shoulders with heavier weights. It's all about bringing the body into proportion, X shape! Do lots of squats and lunges to keep your thighs tight and butt high and round! And for all women, never do too much direct work on your stomach because it will distort your waistline. Has anyone seen Heidi Klum's waist recently? It's non-existent. The result of too many times trying to be on Victoria's Secret runway in lingerie a month after giving birth and doing 1000 sit ups a day to achieve it. I'd strangle my personal trainer if he did that to my body! And there you have it!