The benefits of strength training for women
This blog post will cover the top reasons why women should opt for strength training and the benefits that will follow. It still amazes me that despite all the benefits that come from lifting weights, many women still shy away from it.
Maintaining adequate muscle mass is one of the best ways to keep body fat in a healthy range and to improve overall fitness and Resistance training is the best way to build muscle. Still, the number of women who follow a consistent weight training program is extremely low in comparison to men.
Lifting can seem intimidating, especially in a gym where the weight section is dominated by guys, and women often believe the myth that lifting weights will make them look like those men. As trainers, we know better, and it’s up to us to inform our female clients how beneficial strength training is. Although there are countless benefits to cover, here are my top 3;
1. Strength training is beneficial to fat loss.
A big motivation many women have for training is to promote fat loss or weight management in general. By resistance training, you build lean muscle, a metabolically active tissue where carbohydrates and body fat are burned and used as energy. As your lean muscle increases, so does your resting metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day.
Side note – No, strength training will not make you ‘bulky.’
Women typically don’t develop big muscles from strength training, because compared to men, women have 10 to 15 times less of the hormones such as Testosterone that cause muscle growth.
2. Strength training will reduce the risk of injury and certain diseases.
Strength training not only builds stronger muscles but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for your joints, helping to prevent injury.
Additionally, Strength training has a positive impact on bone density; when our bones are put under stress from the force of resistance training over time, they grow stronger and increase in density to withstand the extra load and force. Increased bone density decreases the chances of women (and men) developing osteoporosis later on in life. Women are especially susceptible to losing bone density and strength as they get older, anything to combat it can prevent fractures and breaks.
Strength training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering “bad” cholesterol, increasing ”good” cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. Additionally, weight training may improve the way the body processes sugar, which may reduce the risk of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes (sometimes known as “adult-onset” diabetes) is a growing problem for women and men.
3. Mental benefits: improved mental strength and boosted confidence.
When you consistently work out with weights, you become stronger, with time you’ll be able to lift more, which is both incredibly satisfying and motivating. Feeling yourself getting stronger, focusing on what your body can do as opposed to how it looks, is an empowering experience that builds confidence and self-esteem. Science will back this up; a study by JAMA Psychiatry (2018) found that participants who performed resistance training showed a significant improvement in mood and reduction in symptoms of depression. The physical (aesthetic) benefits are sure to follow, lifting improves body composition which will have you feeling and looking toned.
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