AIF In The Media

5 fitness tips that ring ~especially~ true for women

Mar 10, 2022  |  Published by Molly Fabri

Head trainer at the Australian Institute of Fitness Kate Kraschnefski shares her tips to respect our bodies more while working out, and get great results.

While health and fitness is crucial to all genders, there are some specific elements that women should be aware of in order for us to optimise our wellbeing, and ultimately live our best lives.

Committing to healthy practices provides us with a framework to support daily success, whatever that looks like to you.

As women, we often have a lot on our plate, and we are guilty of putting everyone’s needs above our own, and as such our self care and health can suffer. By prioritising our self care, we can not only be the best for those around us, but can truly reach our full potential.

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Here are 5 health and fitness tips to reflect on this International Women’s Day that will help us be our happiest, strongest and most powerful best!

We must do strength training

If there is one type of exercise for women that I am deeply passionate about, it’s strength training. The list of benefits is huge, and right up at the top is bone health. Concerningly, 66% of people over 50 have osteoporosis or osteopenia, and women are particularly vulnerable.

Regular strength training up to the age of 30 will add deposits to our bone bank, setting us up for strong bones as we age. Working with weights regularly at all ages promotes healthy bones and improves functional movement capacity, reducing the chances of injury and falls.

Resistance training also builds lean muscle mass, increasing our body’s ability to burn fat. This helps us feel more energised throughout the day and can help if you are looking to improve your body composition.

Best of all, strength training helps us feel embodied and empowered! Remember, the weights room is not just for the guys, so don’t be afraid to try lifting weights out, or seek the help of a qualified Personal Trainer if you need some support.

Accept that women are prone to having more body fat

Women are predisposed to store more body fat than men, and we need this for optimal health.

In addition, there are many different types of body shapes that store fat more readily in certain areas. To reduce body fat significantly in many women is not only close to impossible, but down right dangerous.

When it comes to the idea of a “goal weight”, be realistic and most of all, come from a place of love and respect for your body.

Your body is perfect

Every day we are bombarded with images of one particular body type. Unfortunately, this can make us feel like that particular body is the one of most worth and what we should all aspire to attain.

The reality is, that body shape is only representative of a small percentage of us, and indeed impossible for most people to achieve.

In addition, women’s bodies tend to go through a broader range of change through various stages in life, and the spectrum of those changes is not well represented in popular media either., like through pregnancy or into older age.

This lack of diversity means a lot of women can’t help but feel less of themselves when compared against the perceived expectation society has on beauty; how we should look, and even act.

Loving our bodies can be a real leap for a lot of people, as we try to free ourselves from many years of programming and societal expectations. It’s probably a reach for people to wake up one day and look in the mirror and tell themselves how fabulous they are. And that’s okay, but working towards respecting your body for its perfection, rather than the way it looks, can often be the best kickstart or motivation to commit to healthy habits.

Start finding a few moments each day to take in some deep breaths, centre and connect in your body. After that, try simple expressions of gratitude, such as “Thank you, legs, for moving me around each day! Thank you, heart for pumping blood through my veins!”. This practice should encourage positive momentum towards enhanced self-love.

See exercise as self care

We know it is hard to prioritise ourselves and many women feel guilty for investing time in something that is purely for them. It is time to flip our thinking on this.

You can’t fill from an empty cup, and if you don’t start from a healthy foundation, everything else in your life can suffer. This includes your mental health and ability to manage stress.

Seeing exercise as a form of self care, and an opportunity to be the most effective, energised and vibrant version of yourself is so important.

For parents, being a role model and setting a great example around being active and making healthy choices can be so powerful for those around you. You will find the investment of time in yourself will pay off in so many unexpected ways, it will be worth it.

Movement is sexy

While it is absolutely fine to have aesthetic goals with your health and fitness, remember there are so many other benefits to being physically active. One of those is just appreciating the wonder and ability of our bodies.

Training can provide opportunities for deep connection and improved understanding of our bodies. Physically challenging ourselves can feed our self esteem and confidence. These moments often bring us unexpected joy, empowerment, bursts of endorphins and a self-love that helps us feel like the sexy queens that we are.

Kate Kraschnefski is the Head of Compliance & Training at the Australian Institute of Fitness. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Certificate IV in Fitness and has been a personal trainer and group exercise instructor since 2004.

Molly Fabri

Molly Fabri

Communications and Partnerships Coordinator

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