{ FITNESS }

Bone Health is Worth the Weights You Hold

The importance of weight strengthening for your
overall health

Deborah KZ is a registered nurse and a master fitness trainer. She has worked with thousands of fitness professionals in the U.S. and around the world since the 1990s. As a fitness athlete and consultant, Deborah was instrumental in developing the women’s fitness division
for Nike.

gym

[TO GET STARTED You can find Deborah KZ at the La Jolla Sports Club in La Jolla. She would be happy to work with you one-on-one to develop a weight exercise program (private trainer), or on any other aspect of exercise through Group X classes. Contact her at deborahkz1@yahoo.com; or for more information, visit: lajollasportsclub.com.]

Q: What is weight strengthening?
A:
The purpose of weight strengthening is to increase your bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength by utilizing weights, or your own body’s resistance, in order to improve your overall health and well-being.

Q: Besides general bone health and osteoporosis, do weight bearing exercises help in other ways?
A: Yes, these exercises strengthen your muscles, thereby helping you to have better posture, alignment and an improved core strength. If you have more muscle, you tend to burn more calories and, therefore, you can be a little more indulgent with your food intake. Simply put, weight training increases your health in so many ways that your quality of life improves because of its benefits.

Q: How do you begin this form of exercise?
A: To start with, hire a personal trainer or find a group exercise instructor who has the appropriate certification in weight training. It’s always best to begin one-on-one so that your training can be customized to your body, weight, form and age. This can help eliminate the risk of any new injuries or aggravating any pre-existing ones. Be sure to inform your trainer of any pre-existing injuries. Using machines is preferred because it creates a more controlled workout and helps to keep your body within the proper range of motion.

Q: How much time do workouts take? 
A: The length of time varies depending on your commitment level and the advice of your trainer. A smart and effective program – designed by you and your trainer – is the key. You can spend as little as 10 minutes a day, or you can go up to one hour a day. Just remember, something is better than nothing. As you progress you will naturally want to increase the length of your workout.

Q: How often should you train?
A: The general rule of thumb is to start with lighter weights, or to simply use your own body’s resistance. As your strength progresses, you can increase the intensity and frequency of your workouts. In order to be successful, begin slowly, and then steadily increase the number of workout sessions a week. A good start would be twice a week, and then increase to three or more times a week depending on your progress and your trainer’s assessment. It’s important to listen to your body: you should experience minimal soreness after each training session.

Q: How do you know how much weight to use in order to not hurt yourself?
A: Remember to have a trainer’s expertise to guide you through the process. If you can’t maintain proper body alignment or use momentum, your weights are too heavy.