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Top 3 Reasons To Exercise When You’re Skinny!
By Katrina Conte - We're always told that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. Studies show that people who exercise regularly have healthier weights, lower cholesterol, better cognitive function, etc. But we're also told nowadays that people should exercise to lose weight. This can present a problem for those of us who either want to gain or maintain their weight. So what should you do?
You should still work out!
I know its discouraging when you talk about trying a new workout routine, you walk into a gym, or you go through the store check-out with work out videos and you hear "but you don't need to work out, you're skinny!" We all know that being skinny doesn't necessarily mean you are in-shape!
As a disclaimer, I am not a personal trainer or a nutritionist. Most of this blog is based on my own personal experiences. I'm not even a work-out guru! Ideally I'm involed in mixed martial arts (krav maga and kickboxing) and that is where my workouts mostly come from. But I am going to give you some reasons about why it's important for you to work out, even when you're thin (and I will give you some tips for getting started).
First Reason: Do it for your health!
Guess what, skinny Minnies and Mickies. No matter how slim you are, you still have muscles and joints, and they need to be used! Ever feel winded after going up a flight of stairs or dashing across a parking lot? I have, for sure! It means that your body is not being exercised correctly. It means that your physical endurance needs improvement. No worries, though, this can easily be remedied with a steady and consistent work out routine.
Being naturally thin does not mean that you never have to worry about high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, or other illnesses that are sometimes associated with being overweight. In fact, this can be dangerous because those of us who are on the thinner side may not get these things checked out, thinking that our metabolisms will protect us! Like everyone else, we slender people need to keep a healthy diet combined with physical and mental exercises to keep both body and mind strong and sharp.
Worried about bulking up too much? Don't be. It's a myth that working out will turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger! You will tone up, though. It's a great way to gain weight, actually, because firm muscle weighs more than fat. Just remember to increase your calorie intake so you can nourish those muscles and maintain a healthy weight!
Second Reason: Do it for your mind!
Working out is a great way to release endorphins in your brain, contributing to a better mood. When you're down, you may not feel like hitting the gym, but releasing that negative energy through physical activity will really help! It's a great stress release and a mood booster!
I participate in a very rigorous one-hour kickboxing workout about twice a week. It is HARD. This workout really pushes me to my limits, even when I do feel in shape. At least once a session, I want to give up and sit down. But I don't. Why? Because it is so much more rewarding to push through and then realize that you can make it, even when you don't want to. This is an important lesson that you can carry with you in any facet of your life! Giving up is easy, but pressing on even when you're tired and conquering that thing that almost defeats you is so much more fulfilling in the end! Your workout doesn't always have to be difficult but do challenge yourself sometimes!
Of course, this does not mean that you shouldn't know and respect your limits. Never work out to the point where you feel unwell or overheated. Take precautions, drink lots of water, and stop if you have to. If you feel faint or if you start to see white sports in your vision, stop what you are doing immediately and take a break! There is a difference between pressing on when things get challenging and hurting yourself by trying to do something way outside your limits! Overworking your body is just as harmful as under working it.
Third Reason: Do it to be an example!
People are going to be more likely to work out if they see their friends and loved ones exercising and enjoying it. Working out is good for everyone, big or small!
How To Get Started
- Determine what your workout style is. Do you want to work out in a group? In a gym with a partner? At home by yourself? Everyone is different. I prefer a group setting with involvement, and I want my workout to include self-defense, so martial arts was perfect for me. Also, working with people who are at more advanced levels that I am pushes me to work harder, as opposed to intimating me. On the other hand, I know people who would never be comfortable working out in a group and prefer to follow work out videos at home. Choose what's best for you!
- Make time. You may not have the time or even the desire to workout every day. Sometimes I only get in 2 one-hour workouts a week, though I try for 3-4. Frequency depends a good deal on what you want to get out of your workout, but the most I've heard recommended is at least 4 3o minute sessions a week. It is also recommended that you take at least 1 full day off from working out a week.
- Determine your health level. If you are very underweight and are feeling weak or overly tired, you may need to work on weight gain before you start a workout routine. Don't put too much stress on your body! Also consider a discussion with your doctor if you have conditions like asthma or anemia, so you can make sure you stay safe when you get started. And, no matter your health and fitness level, drink lots of water!!
- Don't let anyone get you down. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't need to work out. Do it because it's good for you, not because you should have to justify yourself to others! If anyone is truly concerned (some eating disorders may include obsessive, drawn-out, daily workouts, and you know that being thin already makes you a target for the anorexia label), don't get offended. Just calmly explain why exercise is important for your over-all health and well being! You only get one body so take good care of it. :)
How petite celebrities gain weight
Can naturally thin people eat whatever they want?
Why am I thin?
How petite celebrities gain weight
Guest post by Chrissy Anderson
Opening up any celebrity or lifestyle inspired magazine will confront us with a raft of images of the great and glamorous, done up to the nines as they step out at award ceremonies. Usually, accompanying these images is text to tell us how good or bad they look, for whatever reason.
Sometimes, in the name of real method acting, an actress might have to completely and radically overhaul their appearance so that the performance they give is as believable as possible. Over the last few years, some of the more petite actresses have had to do so. How did they do it, and more pertinently are their regimes something we can follow to help us gain weight?
Celebrity weight gain
When the film "My Week With Marilyn" was released last year, people were amazed by the transformation that lead actress Michelle Williams had gone through in order to look like screen icon Marilyn Monroe. Williams, who is naturally very slim and usually sports an uber cute pixie crop gained enough weight to take her to a size fourteen. When asked how she’d done it she simply replied “I wasn’t watching what I ate, put it that way”. Then, not content with doing it once, Williams did it again on a junk food diet, to play opposite Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine, this time gaining more than fifteen pounds (and losing it all again afterward).
But weight gain is not as easy for everyone. Perhaps most interestingly, Hillary Swank, when researching her role in Million Dollar Baby gave a detailed account of what she had to do to gain weight in order to give a more convincing performance. She said that in order to gain an extra nineteen pounds, that she ate every ninety minutes and that her diet included as much as two hundred and ten grams of protein every single day. Alongside this, she felt she needed to sleep more, ultimately trying to get nine hours a night. If she woke up during this time, she would force herself to drink a protein shake, because she was getting the feeling that her body needed it and couldn’t go for too long without food.
This can’t be good, right?
Well, in a word, no. Renee Zellweger’s Doctors had it about right when they advised her to be careful in the way she gained weight. Firstly, gaining so much weight in a short space of time can be very dangerous and put enormous pressure on the body’s organs to try and cope with the extra onslaught of calories. Secondly, the foods that these actresses ate in order to try and bulk up was not only highly calorific but also very high in fat, salt and sugar which adds to the dangers of possibly storing up trouble for future years, even if the weight is only going on temporarily in order to give believability to a role.
How do you gain weight properly?
To achieve sensible weight gain takes time, patience and, surprisingly, doesn’t include any junk food - well, apart from in moderation as part of an all round balanced eating plan. The key to making long lasting, yet gradual changes lies in planning out a nutritious eating regime that takes into account not only an increase in calories, but making sure optimum health is maintained. It is said that in order to safely
gain between one and three pounds per week, an extra five hundred calories a day would need to be consumed. It sounds like an awful lot, especially if you can find huge platefuls of food very “over-facing” or plain unpalatable. Here are a few ideas:
Little and often: It’s a good move generally, if nothing else to keep blood sugars stable, but eat three, sensibly portioned meals during the day. These meals should ideally have a portion of high quality protein, some complex carbohydrate, some good fats and fruit or vegetables to accompany.
For instance (as a guideline only):
Breakfast: Omelette made with one or two eggs, cooked in olive oil. Serve this with one or two slices of wholegrain toast, buttered. Accompany with a glass of fruit juice.
Lunch: Chicken breast cooked and sliced. Serve this in a sandwich made with a bread of your choice, buttered. Include lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Fruit for dessert. Alternatively, serve the chicken with a baked potato and stir fried vegetables.
Dinner: A bowl of stew perhaps made with lean beef and root vegetables. This could be served with some plain rice or couscous. Perhaps finish with a calcium rich dessert such as full fat yogurt or homemade custard.
Snacks: It’s also a good idea to plan a couple of snacks for during the day too. The occasional bag of chips or cookies is totally fine as part of a good eating plan, but it’s also good to try and incorporate good quality nibbles too. Think about trail mix, a bag of nuts like almonds, cashews or walnuts (all for preference should be unsalted), dried fruit mixes or even things like milkshakes, protein shakes or hot chocolate made with a portion of full fat milk for calcium and protein. All these will offer good nutritional value to you as well as providing useful and useable calories.
The advice is, if you’re going to try and gain weight, do it sensibly and don’t go the crazy Hollywood way. You want to eat healthy and still exercise well. Look after your body and it will look after you.
The Thin Gene: a Scientific Explanation of Naturally Thin People
I can't tell you how many times people have laughed when I told them I'm naturally thin. Most people have a hard time accepting that simplr fact. I usually tell the 'non-believers': just like some people have a hard time losing weight, others have a hard time gaining weight.
Well, looks like science proved me right!
Geneticists at Imperial College London and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland discovered the 'thin gene.'
They analyzed the DNA of 95,000 people, and discovered that just under 50 of those people had an "unusual duplication of the genes."
1 in 2,000 people carry the 'thin gene'
One in 2,000 people apparently have this abnormality, and as a result, they have a hard time gaining weight.
When you think about it...1 in 2,000 people? Doesn't sound like much, but I did the math - and it's about 500 people per 1 million, and if you look at the world population (about 6 billion people), 3 million of them carry the thin gene! 3 million people on this earth who are naturally thin!! And I thought I was the only one?! Crazy!
A Scientific Explanation of The 'Thin Gene'
So, want to know what exactly the 'thin gene' entails? A scientific explanation of why some people are naturally thin?
Here you go: (copy pasted from this article)
Normally a person has two matching sets of 23 chromosomes - bundles of genetic material - one set from each parent.
However, sometimes individuals have extra copies of part of a chromosome, or there are copies missing.
This study found that individuals with too many copies of these 28 genes tended to be underweight,
with a body mass index lower than 18.5, compared to a healthy BMI of between 18.5 and 25.
Last year, the same researchers discovered that people with a missing copy of these genes were 43 times more likely to be morbidly obese.
The thin gene: some serious risks
The study explains why some people can be extremely thin and have a hard time gaining weight - but having the thin gene does carry some risks.
Apparently, people with the thin gene are at a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, especially men.
The researchers also discovered that about a quarter of those with the duplication had something called "microcephaly." This is a rare condition where person's head and brain are abnormally small. It's a serious disorder associated with neurological defects and a shorter life expectancy.
Do you carry the thin gene?
So, after all those scary risks - you're probably left wondering: do I carry the thin gene? Well, I can't speak for anyone but myself. All I know is that I can eat whatever I want, and never gain weight. I only gained weight when I was pregnant with my son, and I lost the weight within a week after the birth. I just know that it's a lot easier for me to lose weight than to gain weight - and it's something that runs in the family. My dad is in his late fifties, he is stick thin and has a serious struggle with gaining weight. Looking at my dad, my siblings and me - I say: YES, being naturally thin runs in the family. It's great that researchers discovered a 'thin gene,' but I was already aware of it - I didn't need science to prove it! :)