WOW Wednesday with Crystal Reia

Last week I introduced you to my extremely talented friend and personal trainer Crystal Reia. I have asked Crystal to share some fitness and nutrition information with y'all each Wednesday on the blog. Crystal does a lot of research, I mean a lot, and shares it with her clients on a regular basis. I attribute a lot of my personal wellness success to her, she is a great motivator! She posts regularly to her Facebook page and is very encouraging to all her students. I have learned an awful lot from her and I know you will too! 

Crystal always says that weight training is the most important thing for women to do. Below you will find some great information for bone health and a great list of tips to kick start your wellness! Take it away Crystal...




 I thought for my first post, I would stress the importance of weight training for women! With the growing obesity epidemic in our society, I am so happy that people are starting to take their health more seriously and are educating themselves about it. I will always continue to stress the importance of adding strength training into one’s weekly fitness routine, especially to my female clients. I think some women fall prey to such fears as; “Weights will make me look bulky”, or “if I go to the gym I don’t know what to do and I will look silly”.    
It is a well known fact that as we age, we as women (especially in our 50’s) can develop the risk of developing Osteopenia or Osteoporosis; which is the degenerative breaking down of the bones, or fragile/brittle bones due to hormonal changes or lack of nutrients such as Vitamin D.           
Besides upping your vitamin D? Strength training is one of the biggest ways to help prevent such diseases, because it helps build strong muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and joints to help protect you.

Strength training also helps to raise metabolism for more efficient calorie utilization (even when you are doing nothing!) and aids in adding strength and great posture for making everyday activities easier; and those are just a few of the many benefits!


1.    For beginners, I recommend doing a strength program 2-3x per week for 30-60 minutes depending on your time commitment. If you don’t know what to do, then ask someone who does. A personal trainer is a wonderful asset and knows how to safely and correctly perform exercises. They will do the planning and thinking for you when it comes to exercise choice!

2.    Ensure you get adequate rest time between your strength sessions. You should always feel good and recovered when you go into your next session. In the beginning you may need more recovery time. 24-48 hours for some. Maybe longer for beginners as your muscles adapt. And yes! You WILL BE sorer in the beginning. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness which is another topic all together is quite natural, when you are making your muscles perform activities that they have not done before. Usually stars about 24 hours later and can last up to several days before subsiding.)

3.    Always warm-up 5-10 minutes before lifting. Any full body activity will do (Treadmill, Elliptical, Biking, walking, jogging etc.) You need to prepare your body before jumping into strength training! Warming up helps to safely raise body temperature and heart rate gradually to get you prepared for exercising and to help prevent injuries. Dynamic stretching can also be a great part of a warm up as well. (Dynamic: meaning any stretches where you are moving, arm circles, easy hip swings etc. are two examples)

4.    Ensure you have proper form and technique down before lifting too heavy. The last thing you need is to apply too much force/stress too soon. However, you do need to find a weight that is challenging to you so that you are exhausting your muscles by your last set.

5.    Beginners can try 8-10 reps of an exercise for 2-3 sets with a short rest period in between.

6.    Strength training doesn’t just mean machines and free weights. Total Body Strength exercises are a favorite of mine and using your own body weight can really help you train to your fullest. TRX Training can be fun! But there are so many exercises you can do without any equipment at all right in your own home! There are many forms of doing strength training: Regular sets/reps, HIIT and Tabata (Strength and stamina), Pyramids, Eccentric training, playing up tempos and range of motions in your exercises etc. These are great ways to mix things up and to keep you from getting bored of the same old thing.

7.    Find strength exercises you like to do and or maybe train with a friend or trainer! Working out with someone can give you accountability to stick with it! Make programs fun and change it up often to provide challenge to your muscles. This is something I constantly do for my clients.

8.    Cool down: Stretching, stretching, stretching! Good to do in between sets as well as at the end. Do not skip this! Do you know how many people I see at the gym walking out during stretch at the end of a class or workout? It’s so bad for you. Always leave time for stretching; your muscles will thank you for it. Stretching helps relieve tired sore muscles and to prevent injuries. Static stretches (stretches that are held still) are best for after a workout when your muscles are nice and warm and will help improve your range of motion. (Which we lose as we age)

9.    Once you begin to train regularly, ensure your daily diet is on track. Get enough lean protein! 100-200 grams per day and stick to whole food vegetables and healthy fats.

10.    Drink water! Water will also help your recovery and aids in delivering proper nutrients to your muscles and organs!

I’m so happy to be able to share a few tips each week with you! I will start to post some of my favourite strength exercises and helpful nutrition tips each Wednesday right here on “Celebrating This Life”. If you have any questions or need any advice, I’m always happy to help!

Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice