Healthy lifestyle consists of physical activity and well-balanced diet. When it comes to fitness programs, most women usually stick to cardio and other exercises while strength training is largely overlooked. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, only 20% of women practice strength training on weekly basis. This type of physical activity is an important part of fitness program which is why this article aims to educate you more about amazing benefits of strength training for women.
Importance of strength training
Did you know that practicing strength training twice a week can reduce your body fat by 3% in only 10 weeks? In fact, you can reduce size of your waistline and hips by 3 inches without making any adjustments to your diet. Positive effects of strength training for women are well-documented.
For example, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine conducted a study to examine the link between strength training and adiposity in premenopausal women. The research included 164 overweight and obese women aged between 25 and 44. Findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that strength training is effective intervention for preventing increase of body fat and intraabdominal fat.
Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research discovered that women who did 60 minutes of strength training burned 100 calories more the day following their workout comparing to days when they didn’t lift weights.
Two studies mentioned above and multiple scientific researches that examined this subject discovered the same thing – strength training for women is essential for successful weight loss.
Benefits of strength training
As mentioned above, this type of training is inevitable component of fitness programs and healthy lifestyle in general. Besides its benefits in burning fat and calories, strength training for women also offers the following:
- Preserving muscle mass – as you age, your muscle mass gradually diminishes. Strength training allows you to counteract this effect by preserving and enhancing the mass of your muscles
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis – due to hormonal changes that occur in every woman’s body, bone density starts to decrease thus putting you at a greater risk of osteoporosis. One of the most important benefits of strength training for women is reduced bone deterioration as well as stronger bones
- Decreased injury risk – when building muscle, you also protect your joints from injury. Moreover, this training increases your balance and coordination at the same time
- Heart health – weight training improves cardiovascular health in numerous ways including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Plus, strength training regulates your blood pressure
- Reduced risk of diabetes – when practicing this type of physical activity, the way your body processes sugar improves thus reducing risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Improved attitude – women who do strength training report improved confidence and overall attitude towards life. Experts point out this confidence and positive attitude are important for individuals who suffer from depression.
I’m afraid strength training will bulk me up
If you believe that strength training will make you look like a female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger, you’re not alone. In fact, most women are reluctant to start this training because they don’t want to bulk up. However, this is just a myth that is based on poor understanding of strength training and lack of reliable and accurate information online.
Unlike men, women usually don’t increase size from strength training. Why? The reason is simple; compared to men, women have 10 to 30 times less hypertrophy-causing hormones. Plus, high levels of estrogen make it difficult for women to become overly muscular. On the other hand, strength training for women will help you develop muscle tone and definition because these workouts are associated with toning, strength and endurance.
To sum it up; benefits of strength training are well-documented and it’s highly recommended to all women who want to lose weight and get toned and defined muscles. There’s no need to wait, consult your coach about strength training and your body will thank you.