Prior to birthing the two loves of my life, I actually wore yoga pants to work out. Now I just wear them. However, in my twenties and prior to becoming a mom, I was all about the cardio workout. Of course, hormones were working at their max and very little effort was required to maintain the muscle tone developed in my youth. But now that I’m in my mid-thirties, cardio alone is no longer enough. My clothes fit relatively the same, but flab is not fab! And I need strength to accomplish daily tasks, such as lifting kids, groceries, toys and other gear.
Strong is the new Skinny, ladies.
Or that’s what everyone is saying. But it is still catching on among women. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that not even a quarter of women regularly strength train. I think it is because many are afraid of bulking up or have never learned how to properly work out with weights. The truth about weight lifting is that increasing your muscle mass actually burns more calories, increases metabolism and gives you more energy. Because muscle tissue is more dense than fat, adding a little bit more muscle to your body and decreasing your fat actually makes you look leaner—not bigger.
I recently started working with weights during my home workouts and I can definitely see and feel a difference. I don’t use heavy or complicated gym equipment, either. But if you are still intimidated by weights, start with the classic pushup. Pushups require no equipment and work multiple muscle groups at the same time. There are so many versions of the pushup, you can virtually work every muscle in your body.
I found a YouTube channel, Bikini Body Mommy, that fits easily into my schedule and exercise comfort level. I have almost completed the 90 Day Challenge and am proud to report that I now can do 40 regular (not modified) pushups at once! I love that I don’t have to think about finding the workout and that the workouts get progressively more difficult as I get stronger. It’s one of the many free video workout series that is available on YouTube. Another great YouTube channel is Fitness Blender.
If you find that it takes more effort to get the same results you used to get in your twenties, or prior to having children, don’t get discouraged. Add strength training to your routine and find a workout for your fitness level.Tweet