Over the years, researchers have made compelling arguments on the benefits of weight lifting for people of all ages and gender. Yet, the number of women who do strength training remains quite low. Only one fifth of females do any form of resistance training two or more times a week. Those who exercise regularly mostly concentrate on cardiovascular workouts and spend less time using resistance to challenge their bodies.
The truth is weight training can be intimidating for women. Perhaps you’ve even picked up a barbell or done some dumbbell curls and got a taste of just how hard resistance training can be. Maybe you’ve also heard the horror stories such as how lifting weights leads to joint degeneration, makes women bulk up in unfeminine ways, and that once you bulk up you can’t stop lifting because all that muscle will turn into fat.
All these are misconceptions that keep too many women from experiencing the benefits of resistance training. It’s time to put all that fear aside and discover how strength training could improve your daily life.
You’ll Be a Stronger Woman
Whether women choose to lift weights or perform body weight exercises, any form of resistance training leads to increased strength. Researchers have found that moderate strength training can increase strength levels in females by 30 to 50 percent. Needless to say, having more strength will make you less dependent on others for assistance with daily living. With more strength, chores will become easier and tasks such as lifting groceries, kids, and laundry will no longer push you to the limit.
Strength Training Will Help You Stay Lean and Bring Out Your Curves
For women, cardio is considered the holy grail of fat loss. However, it’s important to build lean mass because muscle helps to burn additional calories all day long and while you’re sleeping.
Research reports published by Wayne Westcott from the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts concluded that females who do strength training at least 2 to 3 times a week for 2 months gain 2 pounds of muscle and lose 3.5 pounds of fat. As muscle increases, so does your resting metabolism, allowing you to burn calories all day long even when not exercising.
The fear of developing bulging muscles due to resistance training turns off many women. But unlike men, women don’t gain size from strength training. The reason for this is that compared to men, women have 10-30 times less of hormones that stimulate muscular growth. That said, however, lifting weights or doing other forms of resistance training improves muscle tone in women and that’s the single most effective way to feel confident about personal appearance.
The following are other ways in which strength training will improve your daily life.
- Decreased risk of back pain
- Improved posture
- Better quality of sleep
- Less stress and depression
Strength training offers many other benefits for both men and women other than those listed above. With this form of exercise, you can reach all your fitness goals and even at a faster rate than performing cardio exercises alone. By including weight lifting or bodyweight resistance exercises in your workout routines, you’ll be well on your way to improving your daily quality of life.