With Christmas and a new decade just around the corner my mind has frequently been travelling to my ever expanding waistline (and legs, and arms, and face…). My post about Why Women Can’t Lose Weight is also fresh in my in mind. While writing that post I learned that in order to lose weight women (like you and I) need to beat nature at it’s own game. So what should we ask Santa to bring us for Christmas this year that will help us to build more muscle, work out harder and eat healthier?
The answer is three simple, and not too expensive things:
1. A Set of Kettlebells
Working out with a kettlebell is fun, it helps develop strength (build muscle), agility and flexibility. What’s a kettlebell you ask? A kettlebell is a weight, shaped very much like a cannonball with a handle that comes in a variety of weights. It looks like this:
Not sure how to use them? You can either design your own routine with exercises from this great Kettlebell Video Gallery found at LiftKettlebells.com or download an instructional audio mp3 file that you can save to your favourite mp3 player and listen to! (I’ve tested it out – the music is great and it’s one great workout!)
Although muscle weighs more than fat, it also burns more calories than fat – if you build muscle the extra calories you burn even at rest will help burn away that extra fat you may be carrying. As well, strength exercises have been shown to help increase your body’s production of elastin which helps your skin have a smooth taut appearance.
2. A Good Pair of Running or Walking Shoes
I feel Nike said it best with their slogan “The roads are always open” and I strongly believe one of the best ways to workout at a level high enough to really improve your cardiovascular fitness (80% of your max heart rate) is to go for a power walk or a run. Forget that expensive treadmill that makes so much noise it could wake the dead (and the rest of your sleeping household), put on a pair of shoes, knock on a neighbours door and go out for a power walk or a run together. You’ll release feel good endorphins, socialize, get fit and increase your life span!
3. A BPA-Free Water Bottle
We often forget that our bodies confuse thirst with hunger – we eat when we’re actually thirsty. By not drinking enough water we actually make it harder for us to make healthy food choices, we make more impulse food decisions because “oh my goodness I’m sooooooo hungry”. Having a water bottle with you at all times is a great way to remember to gulp down water to keep yourself hydrated. Water also aids in digestion, and is essential for us to live…. Remember that a human can live for 3 weeks without food, but only 48 hrs without water.
I already have the shoes and a water bottle, so I’ve asked Santa for a Kettlebell. I hope he brings me one so I can start building muscle in the new year! What have you asked Santa for this year?