Mature women today want more out their life, and they need the energy to keep going. Curves has been dedicated to studying women’s fitness for the past 10 years and their members report they feel better able to perform everyday activities, have more energy, are more social and are happier with themselves and their bodies.
Here are the Curves top 10 tips for getting into shape and getting the energy you want to enjoy life:
- Get moving: Any exercise is better than none. And once you begin to build up your fitness, you’ll be amazed at quickly you feel the benefits of a healthier body. You’ll have a lot more spring in your step, and the compliments you’ll get will have you wanting to step out even more.
- The best program for you… is one that you will stick to: Find a routine that works for you, and make it a habit. Curves’ half-hour three times a week routine is hugely popular because it’s manageable and the 30 minutes fly by as you change workout stations every 30-seconds, often chatting as you go. If you don’t enjoy your workout, you won’t stick to it, so making it fun is the first rule of fitness.
- Work out because YOU want to: Go with a friend, or join a place where the environment is welcoming. Curves is like a girls’ club, where everyone knows your name, and we all share similar fitness goals. Don’t think of exercise as a duty but as a choice. It’s your time to devote to your body because your wellbeing is important to you and the people who care about you.
- Bigger muscles create a smaller body: In order to increase your metabolism and achieve permanent weight loss, you must increase your muscle mass. Muscle burns calories so you can actually eat more food without gaining weight. Strength training is the only way to do this. You need to lift weights or use other exercise equipment that forces you to work your muscles against resistance so that they work harder than they’re used to. You don’t have to spend hours working out to increase muscle mass, 30 minutes three times a week will do it. Aerobics and walking are great for your heart but they don’t build muscle mass.
- Working out should never be painful: Make sure your workout helps not hurts you. Hydraulic machines, which Curves uses, put minimal stress on joints and muscles. Similar to water exercises, these let you work as hard as you want without fear of injury. It’s always quality not quantity that will get you the best results. That means exercising at the right level for you, using proper form and resting between workouts. You should feel invigorated after a workout, not exhausted.
- Don’t slouch: Stand or sit up straight on the machines, hold your head up high, and tighten your belly to get more out of your workout. The more muscles you use during any exercise, the more fat burning you body will do.
- Stretch: It’s important to stretch the muscles you have just worked out in order to get the most out of your exercise. Stretching the muscles lengthens them and allows them to heal stronger and be more limber. Try to relax while stretching, use visualisation or listen to soothing music; a state of relaxation will increase your range of motion. Even when not working out, daily stretching keeps you limber.
- Take up drinking…water: Water acts a natural diuretic. It will help flush out your systems of toxins. Coffee, tea, juices and sodas don’t count, you need 8 glasses of pure water a day.
- Think small: Set small, very specific goals. Goals like ‘losing weight’ or ‘gaining muscle’ are too general. Be more specific – reaching a certain dress size, losing 5 kg. Break your goals into smaller chunks so you can see the results. Exercise is one area where you can really see and feel success. Then take pride in your accomplishments and reward yourself. You did it!
- Keep track: Chart your progress to keep track of your workouts and improvements. Whether it’s fat loss, building muscle tissue or just feeling better, keeping a log will motivate you. When you see where you are and how far you’ve come, you’ll realise you’re making progress and you’ll continue!
And here’s an important extra tip – It’s never too late to start! Exercise slows the effect of aging. Even after 50, exercise can add healthy and active years to one’s life and lower health risks. Resistance training is important for older people because it is the only form of exercise that can slow and can even reverses the decline in muscle mass, bone density and strength. Flexibility exercises help reduce the stiffness and loss of balance that accompanies aging, and speed and agility is increased as well. Not to mention that mature women who exercise more are shown to have smaller waists!
For the past ten years, Curves has been doing pioneering studies in female fitness. Now, the organisation has committed another $5 million over five years to scientific research on the most effective methods to improve the lives of women.
A half-hour at Curves is quickly becoming as popular as a tea-break for healthier and happier women from 50 plus who want to get into shape and stay there. With more than 5 million members in 58 countries, Curves, the world’s largest fitness chain really knows about fitness for women. Here in Australia, over 150,000 women are members of the 400 Curves Clubs.
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