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How to Build Muscle for Women: Get the Facts

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adidas Runtastic Blog: Running, Fitness & Health


Strength training hasn’t always been the most popular topic among women. Weight training was long considered something for men. Lucky for women, times change and muscle strength is no longer off-limits. In fact, understanding how to build muscle for women can help you prevent bone loss and injury as you age while improving your overall quality of life. Learn the truth about muscle growth in women. Plus, how your hormones, your diet, and specific exercises can help you gain muscle.

Muscle GROWTH makes you stronger – inside and out

As you begin your journey toward muscle growth, it’s important to remember that building muscle has a multitude of benefits for women. Not only does it boost your metabolism, which turns your body into a more efficient fat-burning machine, but it also does wonders for your self-confidence. You will stand taller and feel more sure about yourself when you walk into a room. Plus, strength training has been shown to slow bone loss, reducing the risk of fractures associated with osteoporosis.

If you’re worried about bulking up, don’t bother; men and women who work out three to five times a week will not experience the same muscle growth. Women’s testosterone levels are about 20% lower than men’s, which means if you do want to get those biceps and triceps bulging, you’ll have to seriously increase your calorie intake and target workouts to reach your goal.


Menstrual cycle and muscle growth

Do you want to start building muscle, but you don’t know where to begin? Start with your hormones: if you know what phase of your cycle you are in, you can use this valuable information to sync your training to your calendar.

One female sex hormone is that especially important for muscle growth is estrogen. Studies have shown that the hormone (which is particularly “active” during ovulation) can boost the production of protein and thus stimulate muscle growth.(1)

Good to know:

A US study found that birth control pills can limit muscle growth.(2) Women who didn’t take the pill, however, gained up to 60% more muscle mass.

Why you shouldn’t skip cardio

It goes without saying that cardio should be part of your training routine. Workouts outdoors or on a treadmill, elliptical, or stepper are great, especially if you are looking to burn calories. But less fat doesn’t necessarily mean firm tissue. That is where muscle or strength training comes in.
And…if you want a cardio and strength workout combination that will get you amazing results in 20-40 minutes per day without any equipment, you have to give our adidas Training app a try. You’ll be torching calories all day long after each workout and build that chiseled muscle definition that makes you feel strong and confident.

If you are interested in achieving lasting weight loss success or improving your general health and fitness, the best way is a combination of cardio workouts, bodyweight training and, of course, a balanced diet.

Eat right: Tips for forging muscle

A proper diet is essential to build muscle. The following foods can help you get stronger:

  • Water: Did you know that your muscles are largely made of water? Make sure to get plenty of fluids through your diet: salad and other vegetables contain a lot of water.
  • Eggs: You need plenty of protein to build muscle. Eggs are a great source of high-quality protein.
  • Legumes: Beans and lentils not only contain protein, but zinc, too. The latter is especially important for muscle growth. Without it your body cannot build muscle. Our tip: Avoid eating legumes before your workout. They are high in fiber and thus heavy on the stomach.
  • Berries: These fruits are true nutritional powerhouses. Berries not only help you lose weight, but they also promote muscle growth.
  • Meat and fish: After an intense workout, meat and fish help you replenish your protein stores.
  • Nuts: Different varieties like walnuts, almonds, or Brazil nuts contain protein and many important fatty acids. You also shouldn’t forget about vegetable fats (like olive oil and canola oil).

6 good reasons why you should begin bodyweight training today:

Do you need a little extra motivation? Here are six reasons why you should try bodyweight training:

  1. It will enhance your performance.
  2. It will whip you into shape and tone your entire body.
  3. It will improve your strength and your posture.
  4. It will really boost your metabolism.
  5. It will strengthen your immune system.
  6. …and it will increase your self-confidence!

So, do you want to be more active in your life? Download the adidas Training app and start your customized 12-week bodyweight training plan today!

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What It Took for This Obese Doctor to Take His Own Health Advice

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What It Took for This Obese Doctor to Take His Own Health Advice



Kevin turned to food for comfort as he dealt with the death of his father. He chose a healthier path when his sister was diagnosed with cancer.

The post What It Took for This Obese Doctor to Take His Own Health Advice appeared first on MyFitnessPal Blog.

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Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa

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Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa



Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa

Easy veggie burgers with a delicious hint of smoky spice. Greek yogurt boosts protein to 10g, but add a fried egg for more!

The post Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa appeared first on MyFitnessPal Blog.

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Magnesium for Athletes – Get the Facts

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adidas Runtastic Blog: Running, Fitness & Health


Magnesium is probably one of the first minerals that comes to mind when you think of fitness. But, hardly anyone knows how essential magnesium truly is and how it can improve your physical performance. We have the facts for you!

Magnesium performs numerous functions

Magnesium is a vital mineral: it is present in nearly every cell of your body. Approximately 30% of the magnesium in your body is stored in the muscles. The mineral performs numerous functions: it is needed for aerobic (= with oxygen) and anaerobic (= without oxygen) energy production. Magnesium is also required to form endogenous protein (protein of body origin, rather than dietary origin) and plays an important role in muscle contraction and relaxation. The mineral is also essential to the formation of bone and teeth. In addition, it is involved in the activation of hundreds of enzymes.

How important is magnesium for athletes?

Studies show that the more active you are, the more magnesium you need.(1) Scientists have linked a high level of magnesium in blood to improved muscle performance, such as greater leg strength. This means that you can improve your performance by ensuring an adequate supply of this important mineral. What happens in your body? According to studies, magnesium appears to lower lactate levels in your blood.(2) Lactate (lactic acid) is a metabolite that is primarily produced by intense physical exercise. If it builds up, it can limit muscle performance and you will fatigue faster. Plus, exercising without sufficient magnesium will lead to increased oxygen consumption and heart rate. The mineral also plays a major role in strengthening your immune system. It works similar to an antioxidant by strengthening your defenses and protecting you from diseases.

magnesium for athletes

Increased magnesium intake can be helpful

According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), healthy adult females should get 310-320 mg per day and healthy adult males 400-420 mg per day.(3) A balanced diet is usually enough to satisfy this daily requirement. But, if you like to exercise or work a physically demanding job, your diet probably won’t cover your daily needs because you can lose a lot of magnesium through sweat. This loss has to be replaced, but the amount of magnesium required varies depending on the individual and should be discussed with a sports physician.

You also need to consume more magnesium in the case of stress.(4)

How can I tell if I’m getting enough magnesium?

Pay attention to Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

  • Leg cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Headaches

Consult your doctor if you experience the magnesium deficiency symptoms listed above.

Top 9 Magnesium Rich Foods

The general rule is that getting nutrients through your food is the healthier option – as opposed to taking dietary supplements. The same holds true when it comes to magnesium for athletes. A balanced diet gives us (almost) all the nutrients we need. So which foods are highest in magnesium? Here are the 11 best sources of magnesium:

  • Sunflower seeds (395 mg/100 g)
  • Pumpkin seeds (402 mg/100 g)
  • Sesame (347 mg/100 g)
  • Flax seeds (350 mg/100 g)
  • Cashews (270 mg/100 g)
  • White kidney beans (140 mg/100 g)
  • Chickpeas (115 mg/100 g)
  • Oats (139 mg/100 g)
  • Swiss chard (81 mg/100 g)

oatmeal with blueberries and almonds

Good to know:

Mineral water also contains varying amounts of magnesium. You can find the nutrition facts on the label of the bottle.

Magnesium Supplements – Good or Bad?

If your doctor recommends magnesium supplements to treat a magnesium deficiency, it’s important to be careful about the dosage. You shouldn’t take more than 250 mg of supplemental magnesium per day.(5) Magnesium can act as a natural laxative; if you take too much, it may cause diarrhea.

Takeaway:

The more you workout, the more magnesium you need in your diet. Don’t underestimate the importance of magnesium for athletes and focus on meeting your daily requirements with a balanced healthy diet including magnesium rich foods. If you do experience magnesium deficiency symptoms, consult your doctor. Supplements could be a helpful solution. Keep in mind: if you are preparing for a race or competition, make sure to start integrating the supplements into your diet several weeks beforehand to give your body time to adjust.

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