Women often believe that strength training will make them look “bulky” or give them a non-feminine figure. These things are simply not true! Strength training is an important part of every woman’s health program and if you are not already doing it, here are some reasons to add it to your regimen.
1.) Strength training will help in your weight loss efforts.
Although strength training is the way most people add size (in lean muscle), resistance training actually comes out ahead when compared to cardio exercises in burning calories. Another huge advantage to strength training is that you will continue to burn fat after you are done working out. Not to mention the ‘runner’s high’ that you will get after you are done. Strength training has the power to induce pleasure by releasing endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical in your brain. Between these two things, you will be more motivated to keep going!
2.) Sleep Quality
If you don’t currently sleep great, this could be another reason to add strength training into your schedule. It improves sleep quality and helps you get to sleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake less often during the night. There is a study that was published in the International SportMed Journal that suggests that resistance training in the morning or high-intensity training, greatly affects the quality of sleep and lengthens the time of sleep the night after training.
3.) Your Heart
Lifting weight can reduce your risk of heart disease! A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that those who lift weights are less likely to have heart disease factors. There are other studies that have found that patients who train had a significantly lower resting heart rate than those who did not.
4.) Your Bones
As you age, your risk of losing bone and muscle mass increases. Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk of osteoporosis because the body no longer secretes estrogen. Resistance training is a fantastic way to combat bone mass loss and decrease the risk of osteoporosis. The earlier you begin pumping iron, the greater chance you have to maintain bone health later in life.
Whatever stage you find yourself in life, all of us want to feel confident and capable that we can handle what life has to throw at us. Resistance training can benefit all aspects of your life. Put it into your fitness plan and feel stronger, healthier, and more confident.
-Amber Moyer, Exercise Specialist