Yes, women need to add strength training to their workouts. I know most of us want to lose weight and even want to have a nice physique. No one really wants their flab jiggling around, so toning is a pretty important part of our fitness (or it should be). Toning does not mean lifting weights like a body builder nor being so hard you feel you’ve lost your curves and softness. There is a happy medium for women.
Women can be toned and sexy but there is a direct connection with strength training (balanced exercise routine that uses aerobic activity and flexibility exercises). Many women are missing out on this vital component of a healthy body and women over 40 are finding out how important strength training is to feeling younger and importance of muscle mass.
Intrigued? You should be so check out these 10 excellent reasons why strength training needs to be part of your health.
You will lose body fat
“Studies performed by Wayne Westcott, PhD, from the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, found that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat.” Bodybuilding.com
Exercise keeps muscles around arthritic joints strong, lubricated and aids in decreasing bone loss along with helping control joint swelling and pain. I can attest to this since I have arthritis in my left knee and when I stay more active and workout, I see a direct difference.
Improvements in sleep
Insomnia? Trouble sleeping? Strength training (weightlifting in particular) can lead to a better night’s sleep. It helps with falling asleep faster and having a deeper sleep. Sleep and exercise work hand in hand with sleep giving you the necessary energy to exercise and exercise helping you sleep sounder according to countless studies.
Reduces the risk of heart disease
Resistance exercise, like lifting weights, has favorable cardiovascular benefits and in conjunction with aerobic exercise. Strength training is a vital tool in maintaining good heart health, preventing heart disease, and helping those with heart disease to improve their own heart condition.
Fighting diseases is always a great reason to exercise but there is a direct relation between fighting Osteoporosis and strength training. Post-menopausal, thin women have the highest rates of Osteoporosis and strength training actually increases bone density and help protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis-related fractures
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“Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling) by 13 percent in six months. This, coupled with an adequate amount of dietary calcium, can be a women’s best defense against osteoporosis.” Bodybuilding.com
Burning more calories
Cardio may burn more calories than strength training, a study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that “women who completed an hour-long strength-training workout burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterward than they did when they hadn’t lifted weights.” Womenhealthmag.com
Basically, lifting gives your calories a better burn during exercise and muscle chews up calories even when you are not working out.
Prevents falls and maintains a good form
As we age, we often worry about falls and losing our good body form. Strength training strengthen the muscles and help to keep you upright. Weaker muscles are more likely to leave you off-balance and to fall. Unfortunately, research shows between the ages of 30 and 50, we will most likely lose 10 percent of our body’s total muscle and turn into fat. That is quite often in our midsection but by strength training you fight that and keep your good form and sexier body as you age.
Reducing your risk of Diabetes
Toned muscles also store glucose more effectively. This helps regulate blood sugar even when you are resting and the American Diabetes Association recommends “doing some type of strength training at least 2 times per week in addition to aerobic activity.” Diabetes.org
Get into shape faster
Cardio is great but when combined with strength training like circuit training, raises your heart rate 15 beats per minute higher than if you ran at 60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate according to Women’s Health Mag. This gives you the benefits of both forms of exercise and gets you into shaper faster than with aerobic exercise alone.
Improves attitude and fights depression
Feeling negative or depressed? Researchers found that people who strength-trained at least three weight workouts a week for six months drastically improved their scores on measures of anger and improved their overall mood. Their stress was reduced and allowed for a better attitude.
It’s good for you, you will feel and look better and if you are ready for your best body (at any age), give strength training a real try.
Do you strength train? If so, how often a week? Share below!