If someone is like most women, they would probably think of strength training as something that's reserved for bodybuilders and athletes. But the truth is, strength training offers a wide range of weight training benefits that anyone, including women, can reap, regardless of their fitness level. Here are 10 reasons people should start strength training today!
1. Stronger Bones
It's a fact: With age people lose bone density. The good news is that by performing weight-bearing exercises, bones become stronger and more dense. In fact, studies have shown that the rate of women with osteoporosis would be significantly lower if they performed resistance training at least twice a week.
Many people think that it's always better to lift as much as they can, but this actually has a negative effect on their bones. It's important to maintain proper form when strength training for optimal bone health benefits.
2. Increased Metabolism & Fat Loss
Research shows that adding strength training three times per week increases resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy burned while at rest). It increases metabolism by seven percent over the course of a twelve-week span. Strength training uses the energy she gets from food for muscle recovery and also helps build lean muscle, which is very important for fat loss.
3. Improve Bone Density
With age comes bone density loss, but that's not all! Many people lose bone density because of certain medications or conditions, such as osteopenia and osteoporosis. Fortunately, strength training can help to reverse this process by making bones stronger and denser.
Again, it's important to maintain suitable form when strength training because proper form helps prevent injuries and improve someone's chances of reaping these benefits efficiently. Women can start weight-bearing exercises, including:
- Running after a doctor's approval
4. Improved Posture & Better Spinal Support
As people age and perform activities and movements repetitively, the spine eventually loses its natural curvature. This can lead to muscle imbalances and spinal problems such as disc herniation, degenerative changes of the spine, and osteoarthritis in the back. Strength training helps restore posture, especially in women, by strengthening muscles that support it.
A good way to perform these exercises is to hold a plank position for 30-60 seconds while resting on her forearms (with hands flat on ground) and elbows (bent at 90 degrees). Another beneficial tip women can try is an exercise called "face pulls," which helps improve shoulder blade movement.
5. Make Her More Athletic
Strength training helps make people more athletic in several ways. First, it helps build and strengthen muscles, which enables someone to run faster and longer and improves coordination and balance. These skills allow her to perform better during sports, which helps prevent injuries that result from playing injury prone.
6. Improved Athletic Performance
Strength training can also improve athletic performance by helping muscles become more flexible, as it makes tendons (the tissues that connect muscle to bone) stronger and more elastic. This reduces women's risk of sprains and other running related injuries, such as Plantar Fasciitis (inflammation on the heel).
This type of training also improves neuromuscular coordination (joints moving together), which is necessary for quickness and agility for different activities, such as basketball, tennis, football, fencing, and sprinting.
7. Improved Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing
Strength training improves mood by increasing endorphins in the body, which helps reduce stress by elevating someone's overall mood. The benefits of strength training for mental health are especially important for women because they are twice as likely to experience anxiety or depression compared to men.
This makes it increasingly important for women to have good self-esteem, positive body image, and confidence in their abilities. Strength training can lead to all these being achieved naturally over time!
8. Stronger Joints & Mobility
Along with helping muscles become stronger, regular strength training can increase mobility by improving flexibility while also reducing risk of injury from everyday activities such as climbing stairs. For senior women and others, strength training can help reduce the risk of falling and injury from a fall by increasing muscle tone and body awareness. It decreases stiffness in muscles and joints, which leads to increased range-of-motion.
9. Improved Self-Esteem and Fat Burning
As mentioned above, improving self-esteem is another mental health benefit that can get achieved through weight lifting. Strength training builds confidence by allowing someone to see her progress over time as she lifts heavier weights than before. This helps create an upward spiral that continues to push her higher until she reaches her full potential.
Most women also know weight training to increase metabolism and promote weight loss by increasing lean muscle tissue, which requires more energy to sustain itself than fat tissue. This increase in calorie expenditure (aka increased metabolic rate) can lead to substantial weight loss if maintained. More body fat lost means less body fat stored, which keeps someone at a healthier weight and reduces her risk of obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
10. Toned Body & Shapely Figure
Most people well know strength training for creating a more toned and shapely figure because it increases lean muscle mass, which increases metabolism. Having a high metabolic rate means someone burns fat faster, which helps achieve a leaner look in their muscles. When she has more muscle mass, she is also less likely to gain weight over time because it requires much more energy (calories) to maintain muscle than fat.
Each pound of muscle uses up 35-50 calories each day just to maintain itself, whereas a pound of fat only burns about 2 calories daily. This means that simply by adding on 5 pounds of lean muscle mass through strength training, she will burn about an extra 250 more calories per day!
Performing strength training exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges can help women achieve almost all the benefits discussed above. Dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands and suspension trainers are very popular for this type of exercise and someone can find them at most gyms or workout studios!
Note: using free weights (a barbell that's equally weighted on each side) is an excellent way to improve someone's overall fitness and offers many weight training benefits. It's something that anyone would highly recommend it if women have a gym membership-no equipment necessary!