Aviation for Women

JAN-FEB 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

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48 AviationforWomen J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 A New Year, A New You M A R C I D ' A L E S S I O H ave you seen on social media the pic- tures of super-ripped women with the hashtag #girlswholift? Did you think, I don't want big, bulky muscles; I'm too weak to pick up heavy weights; or cardio is the only way that I'm going to lose weight? Or may- be you thought, that will never be me. I'd like to share that weight training is actually one of the best things that you can do for your body. It not only strengthens the muscles, but also increases speed and bone density, improves posture, pro- motes weight loss, and so much more. There are two things lifting won't do: make you big and bulky, or make the number on the scale go up. If you're adding moderate weight training two to three times a week you're not going to look like the bodybuilder you have pictured in your mind. It takes years of dedicated heavy lifting and strict meal plans to develop that type of physique. The type of training I'm describing focuses on build- ing long, lean muscle through low weights and high repetitions. Yes, there are also heavy days where you work to overload the muscle, but when you combine the two, you will not get bulky. The saying "Muscle weighs more than fat" is false! A pound is a pound no matter the form. The only difference is in the amount of space that muscle takes up. It is far less than that of fat, so that's why we work so hard to burn the fat and build the muscle. Don't freak out, but you will likely gain weight when first starting out with your weight training. This is due to two factors— the first is the body becomes inflamed with the new training stimulus and may retain water; the second is that we are building muscle while we still have the fat. Once the fats starts to burn and convert to muscle, the number on the scale will go down. Remember, eating healthy during this time is important to not only promote the mus- cle gain but also the fat loss. Honestly, the scale is the devil, so just get rid of it. Go by how your clothes fit and you won't have this issue. Consider the five great things that will happen when you start to lift: increased endurance and speed during your cardio training, improved pos- ture, bone density, weight loss, and looking good. We're using the same muscles as before, but now they are stronger, allowing us to run fast- er. And they've been conditioned through time under tension increasing endurance. Ask any sprinter or long-distance runner, and he or she will tell you that weight training is imperative to his or her success. Spending countless hours in front of the com- puter or looking at a phone all day will naturally pull the neck forward and round the shoulders. Building strong muscles through our core and back through weight training can help offset this. It can also lead to fewer neck- and back- related injuries in the future. As we age our bone density declines, which can sometimes lead to osteoporosis. Adding weight training at any age can help offset it. I'll use my mom as an example: After her first cancer diag- nosis the chemotherapy had taken such a toll on her bones that the doctor gave her a prescription. My mom was never one to take unnecessary pills, so she decided she would start exercising regular- ly and add weighted exercises two to three times a week. When she returned for her six-month follow-up bone density scan, the doctor said, "It looks like the prescription worked; your results show a great improvement." My mom respond- ed, "I never filled it. I did it on my own by work- ing out with weights." That was enough for me to make lifting a key component to my routine! Lifting weights burns calories for up to 48 hours, while cardio burns calories up to 24 hours max. Let's be honest, while we all want to be healthy we also want to look good. Weight training is go- ing to give you the long lean muscles in your arms, tightened stomach muscles, smooth legs, and toned glutes. All of these are going to tighten and lift, so you can rock those skinny jeans this year. Now that I've got you pumped up to lift, how do you start? If you belong to a gym, check out its group fitness schedule. Most clubs have classes that incorporate weightlifting into them. Person- al trainers are happy to show you proper form and sample exercises. Not a gym person? Check out YouTube. There are countless videos that provide instruction on form, exercise types, and even full lifting programs. Also, look for in-home programs that use weights. So get out there and be proud to post with pride #girlswholift. ✈ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marci D'Alessio, WAI 66045, has over 10 years' experience in the fitness industry as a certified personal trainer. The doctor said, "It looks like the prescription worked, your results show a great improve- ment." My mom responded, "I never filled it, I did it on my own by working out with weights." I N O U R O W N W O R D S

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