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Health and wellbeing - June 2017

01 Jun 2017

Weight training is for every body

By Andrew Ward

Most people these days understand that weight training with equipment or your own body weight should be a regular part of any weekly exercise routine.

This is well backed up by the gender mix we see in a fitness centre where both men and women train together on the gym floor and in the group training environments.

We don’t often hear myths and misconceptions about weight training like “weights is just for guys” or “I don’t train with weights because I don’t want to get big”. But just in case, here are 12 great reasons you should train with weights one or two times every week:

  • Increase your lean body mass;
  • Reduction in body fat;
  • Build stronger bones and joints;
  • Boost and increase your metabolism;
  • Improve your sleep and sleep patterns;
  • Completing daily physical tasks and routines will be easier;
  • Improved your posture, balance and reduce back pain;
  • Improve your confidence and mental health – improved sense of wellbeing;
  • Better performance in your chosen sports;
  • Stronger heart and lungs;
  • Avoid sedentary diseases like obesity and diabetes; and
  • You will be physically stronger and more able.

Help save a life – first aid and CPR

If you are employed in the health and wellness industry, current first aid and CPR qualifications are mandatory for all workers.

CPR is renewed annually and workplace, senior or level two first aid is renewed every three years.

Most quality health and fitness centres are well equipped with trained staff and a defibrillator on hand in case of any serious incidents, so you’re relatively safe in our hands. That’s at least for the four or five workouts you do each week. But that’s only four or five hours of the 168 hours in a week - what about the other 164?

You could be the potential first responder for everyone you come into contact with – your family, friends, clients and colleagues. Are you ready and able to help them if someone suddenly suffers cardiac arrest? Are they ready to save your life if the scenario is reversed?

Does your workplace have a defibrillator in an easily accessible location? Are you confident in using a defib?

These are all good questions you must ask yourself, your closest friends and your family members if you truly care for them.

Don’t delay – get first aid and CPR certified today! It can also be a great team building activity!

Should I run or walk … or both?

Walking and running are both great ways to exercise your cardiovascular system.

Other benefits include improved endurance, stronger and improved muscle tone in your legs, gluts and core. Running and walking can also have great social and general wellbeing benefits. They can be more fun when you join clubs and groups where you can motivate each other to participate in weekly exercise routines.

But which one is better or more suitable for you? Well, that depends – my advice is while you can still run you should run. This is primarily because a day will come when you don’t have the choice or luxury to throw some trainers on and just go for a run.

The Department of Health recommends that adults accumulate 150 minutes of vigorous or 300 minutes of moderate activity per week. This works out to be 30-60 minutes per day every day. Generally speaking, walking would be considered a moderate intensity activity, and running would most often be vigorous.

Results for improved fitness will come sooner if you can increase and maintain exercise intensity over time. If you are just starting out, your aim should be to build up your strength and stamina so your body can eventually handle higher levels of work. Don’t start out too fast. You may end up back where you started, and injured or very sore! As the saying goes, “learn to walk before you run”.

One of the great unknowns in favour of running versus walking is the latent effect of higher intensity exercise. Not only will you burn (slightly) more calories while running versus walking, your real benefit actually comes after you stop.

Your body and its increased metabolic functioning will consume 30-40 per cent more calories for two to four hours after your workout if you run rather than walk! That should be a great motivator to get out tomorrow for a run!

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