WORKOUT WEAK SPOT 1 GYMTIM IDATION You know your way around most of the equipment in the gym, but still find the weights area a scary place… Having a good routine on equipment such as the treadmill, crosstrainer or exercise bike can have a host of benefits for your health, but incorporate weights into your workout and you could reap even more fitness rewards. Building lean muscle increases the rate you burn calories, even at rest, while a lack of weight-bearing exercise could put you at increased risk of developing osteoporosis, explains Elaine Denton, group health and fitness support manager at David Lloyd Leisure Ltd (davidlloyd.co.uk).

An American study from the National Center for Health Statistics discovered that only a fifth of gym-going women lift weights. If you want to incorporate weights into your exercise routine, and get leaner as a result, Denton recommends using free weights, or starting with resistance machines, under the guidance of a trainer on your first session, so you use the correct technique and weight.

A good starting point is to do three sets of 15 repetitions, with a short rest in between and you should aim to lift a weight that feels really challenging by the last rep, but allows you to demonstrate great technique and form, to prevent any injury, she says. For a boost of confidence, Chrissi Delapperall, regional personal training specialist at Virgin Active (virginactive.co.uk) suggests seeking advice from an instructor or trainer, or buddying up with a friend. Using the mirrors is also sensible to help you with correct form, and listen to your body – if something does not feel right, then stop, she adds. Golan Horesh, fitness expert at health-monitoring company Tanita Europe (tanita.eu) recommends trying women-only weights areas or fitness studios if you are a weightlifting newbie. If you do not want to start doing weights in a male-dominated gym or work area, female- …..exercise motivation Stuck in a fitness rut or just want to kickstart an active lifestyle? We’ve enlisted those in the know to help, whatever your exercise !



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