Coach Dan Reeve: How women can get fit, firm & age youthfully
Dan Reeve is a superb personal training coach. I worked out with him for many years until he moved from London. He's now in Portsmouth, so if you are within a 10 mile radius, hot-foot it over to his studio and beg him to take you on. Seriously!
In the meantime here is his advice on how to improve your body confidence and in the process to age youthfully....whatever your age or current fitness level:
Before taking on any new client that is embarking on a new training and nutritional regime, I challenge them to answer the question, why am I doing this? Making lifestyle changes because you hate your body is unhealthy and unsustainable. Restricting calories, cutting out food groups and spending hours in the gym on cardio machines is hard work. Making these drastic changes requires a huge amount of will power and at some point, will power alone will run out.
Your 'Why?' has to be bigger than 'I want to be thin.'
Wouldn’t it be more positive to see exercise as a way of investing in health? Your 'why' could go from "I want to be thin" to "I want to exercise and eat well because I love myself and I deserve to feel my best". 7 in 10 women report feeling more confident when they invest time in caring for themselves.
View healthy eating and exercising as caring for yourself and not as a punishment...
...and suddenly sticking to new habits becomes a lot easier. Once you have decided to exercise, for the right reasons, you need to be sure you are doing the right kind of exercise.
Strength training is pushing, pulling or lifting a weight. This weight could be your own body, a tin of baked beans or a barbell. Most of our workout time (80%) should be spent doing this type of training unless of course you have a certain specific goal or sport you wish to train towards. The other 20% should be spent mobilising, stretching or doing some form of HIIT training (a number of short fast high intensity cardio intervals). The physical benefits of weight training to build muscle and increase strength are huge, especially for women.
- Women, on average, have less muscle mass then men. It’s therefore even more important that the exercise they do supports the growth of muscle.
- Most women achieve their peak muscle mass sometime during their late 30s to early 40s, after this, sarcopenia kicks in. Sarcopenia is the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of ageing.
- Effects of sarcopenia include frailty, problems with mobility, falls and fractures, decreased activity levels, loss of independence, weak bones, and weight gain from lack of activity. The good news is regular strength training and getting enough dietary protein, can prevent and even reverse sarcopenia.
- Thanks to the drop in oestrogen after menopause, women are at a higher risk than men of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is caused by a decrease in bone density, it’s what many people call brittle or fragile bones. We all know a woman in her 60s, 70s or 80s who has broken bones or a hip with disastrous effects to their health.
Osteoporosis, like sarcopenia, isn’t inevitable, so how do you keep your bone density high? Yet again, strength training is the answer. Women that strength train will benefit from an increase in regional bone density and therefore decrease their risk of suffering a fracture. That means, asides from giving you a fitter, firmer and more toned body, strength training has huge health benefits.
Strength training is one of the best kept anti-aging secrets...
...and let’s be honest, strong helps us to feel confident and happier. I leave you with three statements that I live by...
Be the best you can be. Don’t accept feeling average. Believe in the process.
By finding your 'Why?', consistently turning up to the gym and trying to push your body and lift more than you did before, I believe you not only tick those 3 boxes but you will also develop an unbreakable inner self confidence.
If you dont have access to a Personal Trainer or gym and wish to train at home, the 3 main exercises I'd focus on would be the Squat, Lunge and Plank. All 3 can be done using your own body weight as resistance, no equipment is required and they are great for building real life strength. Abs are mainly built in the kitchen! but a good plank and properly executed squats, lunges and deadlifts will not only build a strong core but also help keep you injury free.
Coach Dan Reeves can be contacted here:
Facebook: /coachdanreeve - Instagram: @coachdanreeve
FLF Performance Centre - Manchester
Or you can ask questions in the comments section below and we will get them to Coach Dan.
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