Strength training for women as well as men. When strength training is done in a balanced way, it can provide incredible health benefits.
But often weight training is thought to be reserved for men who want to get big and bulky. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
But these aren’t the results a woman would get from strength training. Women can benefit tremendously from strength training.
What is strength training?
What’s an activity that can help women stay strong, burn calories, and build healthy bones? Strength training. Before you say “no thanks” to weights, take some time to challenge your preconceptions and learn about the importance of strength training for women.
Inactive adults experience a 3 to 8 percent loss of muscle mass per decade. Resistance training may increase resting metabolism by about 7 percent and help minimize muscle loss.
What’s more, when you do strength training, you get the more calorie-torching effect. Working with weights keeps your body working long after you’ve stopped lifting. This is the process commonly called “after-burn.” There is the body’s ability to continue burning calories after exercise, called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption,” or EPOC. A study reported by the University of New Mexico (UNM) reports that the body takes between 15 minutes and 48 hours to return to a resting state after exercise. This means you can continue burning calories after you exercise.
What to expect?
First of all, strength training in women will not see the muscles that men typically can build. Men have a hormone called testosterone in their bodies in larger amounts than women do, and that hormone allows their muscles to grow.
Women also have estrogen to balance their hormones out and this allows strength training to shape their bodies in different ways. Men can build muscle easily because of their testosterone levels.
Whilst strength training women can expect their muscles to become more defined and shapely, rather than large and bulky. While some women do not like the look of well-defined muscles, it is much healthier and also in an aesthetic sense for a woman to have some muscular definition.
Proper strength training workout each week is required to do around 3 – 5 times a week. Some women find that switching between lower and upper body muscles on alternating days works well. Others enjoy and prefer a full body routine.
With strength training, women will also want to add cardio exercise to their schedules in order to further burn calories off so that their muscles can be seen even faster.
Strength training enhances the metabolism, and when used in conjunction with aerobic exercise and proper diet, it can help to burn fat and tone body faster.
Strength training is a powerful tool for weight loss and it has been overlooked for a long time. The benefits are as follows:
1) Increased Metabolic Rate – Strength training increases your metabolic rate by increasing the calories you burn on a daily basis. The more calories you burn, the more chance you have to reduce body fat.
2) Increasing and Restoring Bone Density – Strength training prevents and fights osteoporosis.
3) Increased Lean Muscle Mass – Women will not get big and bulky by strength training! They simply do not have enough testosterone in their body.
If you have 10 pounds of lean muscle mass then you burn between 350-500 calories. If you have 20 pounds you burn between 700 and 1000 calories per day! This is one of the biggest benefits of strength training for women.
4) Injury Prevention – Strength training strengthens our muscles and tendons. The stronger we are the less chance of an injury. This is especially important as we grow older. The benefits of strength training for women and men too are highly touted for injury prevention.
5) Improved Balance – Strengthening legs and core section means an increase in overall balance and coordination.
6) Decreased Risk of Coronary Disease – Strength training can reduce blood pressure. It can also decrease cholesterol levels.
7) Aids in Rehabilitation and Recovery – Strengthening the muscles around our joints is one of the best ways to prevent and recover from an injury. For example, the best way to recover from a knee injury is to strengthen the quads and calves.
8) Enhanced Performance in Sports, Exercise and Life In General – The benefits of strength training for women all boil down to one point- a better overall quality of life. They can perform activities with more ease and less pain.
9) Aging Gracefully – Strength training is a major factor in ageing well. Enhancing muscles and reducing body fat are prime ways to remain healthy and fit.
10) Feeling Better and Looking Better – We are all searching for ways to look young. Strength training is a vital part of a fitness routine
Strength training exercises are a necessary component of an overall fitness program. Our body needs to be balanced and strong in all areas.
Strength training need not be complex or overly time-consuming. It can fit easily into any woman’s lifestyle since it requires minimal equipment and time. Free weights, weight training machines, resistance tubing or your own bodyweight will all enhance muscular strength and endurance with as little as 20 minutes to one-half hour a day of training. All major muscle groups need to be worked to avoid muscular and postural imbalances.
Again, for the safest, most effective program, you should seek the advice of a certified fitness professional.
By Y. Ramakrishna, Sports Performance Enhancement Specialist