Day 12 - Strength Training & Fertility Health

day12challenge.png

How have you been doing this week with the Exercise Challenge tasks?  I know for me it has been a challenge to get back into an exercise routine.  I have been so lax about exercising for months and can definitely see the difference in both my overall and fertility health.

If you are struggling, remember from the Nutrition week to take baby steps. 

Don’t overwhelm yourself because that will only lead to burnout.  Take it one day at a time and if you need more time for a Challenge task, then take it. 

Today we are talking about Strength training and why it is an important part of fitness.  Doctors do not recommend just doing Cardio exercise all of the time.  This does not help you reach your fitness goals.

Though cardio burns more calories than strength training during those 30 minutes, strength training burns more calories overall.

You need to incorporate strength training as well as core training into your exercise regimen.   Interval training is also a good idea to increase your fitness and therefore improve your health.

Does that mean you need to strive to lift a large amount of weight and bulk your muscles? Absolutely not.

Benefits of Strength Training

  • Helps increase your bone density – prevents osteoporosis
  • Helps tone your body which makes your body appear slimmer
  • Helps reduce belly fat
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Can help reduce cholesterol
  • Turns your fat into muscle – helps your body to better carry a pregnancy
  • Increases your metabolism

Did you know that muscle burns more calories than fat?  Building muscle is beneficial because muscle will continue to burn fat even after you have stopped working out. 

Strength training benefits so much of our overall health.  When our body is functioning properly, it can begin to help improve our fertility health.  Women with PCOS can definitely benefit from the reduced insulin resistance and reduced body fat. 

Just like Cardio exercise, it is important not to overdo it.  Make sure to stick to a few times a week and moderate level of intensity. 

Here are some general strength training recommendations:

  • Aim to start with 3 weight-training sessions a week
  • Aim for total body workouts that target arms, abs, legs and back
  • Go for moves that will target several different muscle groups at a time – For example, squats, which call on muscles in both the front and back of your legs.
  • For each exercise, aim for 10 – 12 reps with a weight heavy enough that by your last rep you can’t even do another one without compromising your form.

Just like Cardio, there are a lot of Strength Training programs available.  If you belong you a gym, you can ask for a personal training session to teach you a basic strength training routine.  You can use free weights, gym machines, kettlebells, resistance bands and even your own bodyweight for strength training.

If you prefer to exercise at home, you can purchase weights and do a program from Mom’s Into Fitness.  I personally love Lindsay Brin’s fitness DVDs and downloads because she incorporates strength training and cardio into an easy to follow program designed for women.  You can go here for a beginner step by step guide to creating a strength training workout.

Don't forget to Share with others.  If you missed last week's Nutrition Challenges or this week's  Exercise Challenges, you can find them on the 31 Day Fertility Care Challenge Pinterest Board.