Jayney's Blog

Getting ready for winter: Part 1

Count down to winter – how to have your best chilly season – ever!

A very warm welcome to my new three-part series on prepping yourself – mentally, emotionally and physically to get into the best shape possible to have a happy, healthy winter – and, quite potentially to get into your best shape – ever!

In this three-part series you’ll learn the following:

Part 1:

Why it is so incredibly important for us all to do resistance training – especially women.  Yes, girl – YOU MUST LIFT HEAVY! 

Part 2:

The best ways to eat, to stay healthy, avoid colds and particularly ‘flu. I will also share with you all my very best herbs and spices for remaining healthy and vibrant – and my delicious ‘healing soup’.

Part 3:

We will cover the more ‘cosmetic’ side of things – so that your skin and hair remain in fantastic shape, despite cold and heating.


Throughout this series, we will focus on the mind-set that you need to cultivate so that you can integrate all these incredibly healthy and rejuvenating changes easily and enjoyably.

Mind-set: “A year from now you’ll wish you had started today!”

Take a moment to think about this – the only way that anything changes is if we actually take action.  Naturally, the place of comfort for most of us is inertia.  Doing things differently is a challenge and it really does move us out of our comfort zone – but the stark reality is that for things to change we have to take action. 

Now, when it comes to lifting weights – it pretty much necessitates a trip to the gym and this can feel intimidating. The weight machines sometimes seem as though they are all set up for the guys and just don’t seem to fit our bodies, and, and if you don’t work out regularly, where do you even begin?

Any new experience is a challenge – so try to remove as many obstacles as possible.  Generally speaking, one of the best things you can do if you are not lifting weights already is to book in with a personal trainer – all gyms have them.  They are really accustomed to helping newbies and will give you the confidence to get going with a routine – and they’ll design a weight resistance programme that meets your goals. 

So, why do women need to lift heavy weights?

  • Heavy weights encourage our production and release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH – I consider this to be ‘THE Youth Hormone’) and testosterone.  All women produce testosterone naturally and, like men, it depletes as we get older – and we lose muscle, become flabby, lose our motivation and our sex-drive disappears down the drain. Both HGH and testosterone alter our body composition by building lean muscle and burning fat – including toxic visceral fat.  But – you won’t bulk up and become ‘manly’ as your testosterone is offset by your female hormones.
  • Lifting heavy weights makes your body more insulin sensitive — and this means that your body is better able to utilise carbohydrates for fuel – which protects you from Type 2 diabetes – and helps to reverse the condition if you already have it.
  • It’s even valuable for bone building – a recent study showed that women with osteoporosis improved their bone density by about 3 percent over eight months of high-intensity weight training. The gains in density are even bigger if you already have healthy bones.

These are the two most frequently asked questions I deal with in my postbag – on a daily basis:

Will cardio make me burn fat?

Cardio increases your endurance, helps regulate blood sugar and improves circulation, but it does not give you muscle definition, build strength or shift fat as efficiently as weight training.  Yes, you do burn calories when you do a cardio workout, however, heavy weight training grows muscle which increases your body’s usage of calories long after you leave the weight room.  In fact, a heavy and challenging weight training workout will raise your metabolism for up to three days afterwards and this dramatically increases the efficiency of a healthy diet.  This is one of the reasons why all body builders will tell you that ‘abs are built in the kitchen’.  We’ve all got abs – but the only way that you’ll ever see them is by stripping body fat – and you do this by revving up your metabolism with heavy weight training and a really good nutritional strategy.  And this neatly brings us to our next question:

Do I need to eat lots of animal protein to gain muscle?

There’s a huge rise in the number of top athletes who follow plant-based, whole-food diets – for a reason.  Just look at Serena Williams as a prime example – she doesn’t seem to be lacking protein and fading away – even though she is a committed vegan.  When you eat this way, your recovery from heavy workouts and injuries is so much faster – which is hugely important to high performing athletes. 

We really have been sold the myth that to get big and strong, we need meat, fish and dairy – in order to feed our muscles.  The truth is that there is more than enough protein in plants than we humans will ever need – as long as you are eating your green leafy veggies (if you hate them, check my website for ‘stealth nutrition’ smoothies – where I share with you a couple of my favourite, delicious smoothie recipes that give you massive nutritional ‘bang for your buck’ – and I swear that you wouldn’t know that you’re eating your greens.  You can even fool kids with them – which is the test of any good smoothie, in my book!).  Add beans, pulses, nuts and seeds to your meals and you’ve more than covered your protein requirements – even if you are lifting like a beast!

Good luck and let me know how you are getting on with this first phase of your ‘best winter ever’ programme!

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2 months ago

Great advice as usual Jayney. An SAS soldier once told me that repetition was as important as the heaviness of the weights you use. For the last 20 years, (I’m 53 years old) I have used 3 kg dumbbells, for 15 minutes twice a week and have great arm and shoulder muscles. I do bicep curls for 10 mins and raise above my head for 5 mins. I started off with half kg weights and worked up to the 3 kg over the course of the first year of starting. Start small and you never know how far you will… Read more »

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