Fitness Coach/ Nutrition and Fitness Consultant
When women hear about weight training, the first thing that comes to mind are bodybuilders with the hulk-like physique. This leads many women to believe that weight/strength training isn’t for them. But this is not the true story, in fact, lifting weights brings out a women’s natural curves and body structure. It’s easy to believe lifting weights will cause bulky muscles as just many guys become bulky when they lift. But when females participate in weight /strength training, their body actually becomes toned with an aesthetic physique.
Lets try to understand benefits of weight/strength training for women :-
1.BOOST METABOLISM – While cardio may be the go-to for burning fat, it doesn’t help to build muscles.Resesrch shows a little muscle goes a long way into burning more calories than body fat as muscles can help to improve our resting metabolic rate, also known as metabolism.Don’t worry about looking “ bulky “ because women do not naturally have the testosterone levels to support this. Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in muscle hypertrophy (growth). So no matter how hard you train or lift weights,you would not end up looking as muscular as men.
2.BETTER FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH – Women need strength to get through the day to day activity,whether it’s long day at the office , carrying toddlers around ,looking after family or all the above you need functional strength to accomplish everything that needs to get done in a day. Resistance training improves strength in key areas like the core , legs, lower back and upper body.
3.INCREASES BONE DENSITY – Bone density declines as women age , especially following menopause. Weight – bearing exercise puts stress on the bones , not too much stress but enough to cause the bone strengthen. This can prevent osteoporosis. Women are particularly prone to osteoporosis as they age , so its even more important for aging women.
4.INCREASE MUSCLE MASS – Some women fear that weight / strength training will make them look “manly” , it won’t actually cause you to bulk – up. It will simply increase muscle mass and improve body composition (will look toned and beautiful).
5.HELPS WITH WEIGHT LOSS – Strength training promotes several metabolic advantages that burn fat both during and after working out. When you include strength training in a comprehensive program that also includes a healthy calorie controlled diet, you will gain benefits that may help you boost weight loss.
6.STRENGTH/WEIGHT TRAINING FOUND TO LOWER HEART DISEASE AND DIABETES RISK – Guideline after guideline says we should be doing regular strength training to help lower the likelihood of developing heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. That’s include guidelines from the “AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION” and from the “AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION”. Research published in MEDICINE AND EXERCISE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE found that individuals who did any amount of strength training on a weekly basis had a 40-70 % reduced risk of developing heart attack , stroke or death related to heart disease compared with individual who did no strength training. It is kindly known that physical activity has a direct relationship with disease prevention . A regular strength training routine could lead to improved cholesterol levels and a decrease in blood pressure levels, putting women at lower risk of heart diseases. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 2 or more days of resistance training for all adults.
7.LOWERS STRESS LEVEL – Cardio exercise has been a well – known source of stress relief for decades. However, research shows resistance training can also help with stress reduction. According to The American Psychological Association , women are more likely to report physical symptoms of stress than men, such as headaches, and upset stomach. Stress reduction can not only improve your mental state , but also your overall physical wellness.
8.REDUCED ANXIETY AND IMPROVED SELF – ESTEEM – Strength training and regular physical activity is found to decrease stress levels. While running may be therapeutic for some, others might find it more effective to release negativity through repeated muscle actions. It is found that resistance training at a low to moderate level is optimal for reducing anxiety. Strength training is also found to improve self – esteem , especially in women. It was found that men feel a boost in their body image, however, women feel better about their body image when they see actual progress in their strength.
9.BETTER QUALITY OF SLEEP – Recent studies have shown those who participate in resistance training experience better , uninterrupted sleep. Improved sleep can help keep your overall wellness in alignment , especially as you age.
10.INCREASE ENERGY – Exercise causes the body to release Endorphins (Happy Hormones) , which boost mood and energy. However Cardiovascular exercise can deplete the body’s energy store. Strength training , on the other hand can be completed in 30-60 minutes , leaving you with more energy to power through the day.
CONCLUSION: Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength. Life is a battle. But don’t worry you’re gonna lift heavy and win it too.
HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY