When it comes to losing weight and staying fit, men and women are not created equal. Whereas men can simply cut back on their portion sizes to see their waists shrink, women need to do more than just pay attention to their caloric intake.
Also, men typically see faster results when they embark on a weight-loss journey. It takes a woman’s body more time and effort to shed extra pounds, especially after pregnancy and menopause—the two biggest culprits when it comes to weight gain. Along with a healthy diet, incorporating exercise into your daily routine will help you lose weight and stay healthy. Keep reading for some practical information and advice for weight management!
The Weight-Health Correlation
According to the ASPE, maintaining a healthy weight could help you stave off diseases. High cholesterol and obesity are major risk factors for heart disease, the leading cause of death for women. The two primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are excess weight and lack of exercise. Therefore, maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise should help you keep the extra pounds at bay and prevent serious diseases.
Make sure to consult your physician before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any cardiovascular,metabolic, or renal issues.
Building Muscle, Losing Fat
Women have a higher percentage of body fat, whereas men tend to have greater muscle mass. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, men typically lose weight easier and faster than women. In order to lose fat and gain muscle, Women’s Health recommends strength training and HIIT training. Many gyms and fitness clubs offer a variety of weightlifting and high-intensity interval training classes, some specifically tailored for women. These exercises are designed to make you sweat and keep your heart rate elevated, which in turn helps burn more calories throughout the day. Moreover, exercising provides many cardiovascular benefits: it lowers blood pressure, lessens the risk of type 2 diabetes, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and reduces inflammation throughout the body.
Keeping the Momentum Going
As we mentioned, it may take some time for women to start seeing results during their fitness and weight-loss journey, so it’s important to stay motivated. The Mayo Clinic offers tips that will help you stay on track:
- Set goals for yourself (keep them realistic so you don’t get discouraged).
- Make it fun by participating in sports, activities, and classes you enjoy
- Make exercise part of your daily routine
- Enroll friends or family members to exercise with you
- Don’t forget to reward yourself — with comfortable workout tops and leggings, for example.
Your workout apparel should be comfortable, breathable (so you can sweat your way through a HIIT class) and made of durable fabric (to withstand all those dips and squats!) Most women gain weight as they get older due to hormonal changes. So, it’s particularly important to eat a healthy, balanced diet and keep exercising regularly during and after menopause to prevent coronary heart disease, diabetes, endometrial, breast, and colon cancer brought on by excess weight, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and many other health issues.
Maintaining a sensible diet and a regular exercise routine will help women stay fit and healthy—whatever stage of life they may find themselves! Learn as much as you can about the correlation between weight and health, work toward developing your muscles and shedding fat, and stay consistent in your wellness routine. You’ll soon be well on your way to better health.