Every woman wants to feel comfortable in her own skin and to be happy with her appearance and most importantly stay healthy. One of the best way to feel confident in yourself and get the body you’ve always dreamed of is strength training.
Strength is empowering. But perhaps you’re among those who still question, “Will weights make me bulky?” 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. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, only about 20 percent of women practice strength training.
Working with weights keeps your body working long after you’ve stopped lifting, the process commonly called “after-burn.” There is much talk in exercise circles about the body’s ability to continue burning calories after exercise, called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption,” or EPOC.
When in an aerobic state such as running, our body has the option to pull fuel from glycogen, fat and if it gets desperate, muscle. A lot of times people think they’ve lost fat running, but when the analysis was performed it’s often precious muscle tissue.
So, why is traditional cardio bad for the makeup of our lean body mass and metabolism? Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of calories your body burns at rest, daily. The more lean body mass you have, the higher your BMR and greater caloric expenditure you have on a daily basis.
Because strength training utilizes total body, compound lifts, it is one of the most effective forms of boosting the metabolism. It helps accomplish metabolic re-composition, supports our ability to burn fat and better use carbohydrates.
Here are 11 reasons you shouldn’t live another day without strength training:
1. You’ll Build Stronger Bones
As women age, they become increasingly susceptible to bone loss and osteoporosis. Although men can also suffer from this as they get older, women are especially at risk due to low bone mineral density.
Until the age of 30 to 35 we continue to build up our bones, but after this the density tends to decline with increasing years, leaving many women prone to fractures and falls in their later life and the potential to cause a great deal of pain.
The good news: A study found that 16 weeks of resistance training increased hip bone density and elevated blood levels of osteocalcin—a marker of bone growth–by 19 percent.
2. Burn more calorie, lose body fat, tone up, manage weight
Weight training builds muscle, as lean muscle increases so do metabolism. A higher metabolism means that you will burn more calories all day long.
Whilst cardio training tends to burn more calories and decrease fat, resistance training can improve the appearance of the body by toning and firming muscles. These effects may not make a difference to your bodyweight, but can still result in a drop of dress size and overall increased body confidence.
Weight training has been proven to raise your metabolism for up to 24 hours after a workout. The more intense the workout the more calories are burned. After an intense workout there is more Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC, meaning there is an increase in oxygen consumption, helping break down fat stores in the body.
It is thought that adding a strength training regime to a cardio workout can help with weight management. Strength training help to build muscle, which is more metabolically active than fat tissue, meaning you may burn more calories even when at rest if you boost your muscle mass.
3. Reduce risk of injury
Strong joints, ligaments, and tendons are important to prevent injury and can relieve pain from osteoarthritis .Weight training also increases strength in connective tissues and joints. Aside from the benefits of resistance training on bone strength, which can help reduce risk of fractures and bone related injury, strength training may also help to reduce risk of other injuries. As functional ability is maintained or improved through this type of training, risk of injury significantly decreases. It can also help to correct muscle imbalances when done correctly, thus reducing the risk of muscular-skeletal injuries. .
4. Manage chronic conditions, live longer
Weight-training will strengthen your back, shoulders, and core, helping to correct bad posture so that you can stand taller, with shoulders back and spine straight .Research has also shown weight training can increase spinal bone density to create a strong and healthy spine. It also helps in the management of chronic conditions such as back pain, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, obesity, osteoporosis and even depression. Scientists found that being strong during middle age is associated with “exceptional survival,” defined as living to the age of 85 without developing a major disease.
5. Perform better, be way more productive and smarter
If you are training in a particular sport, increased strength in muscles due to resistance training can improve your performance dramatically. Muscles strengthen your body and mind: Brazilian researchers found that six months of resistance training enhanced lifters’ cognitive function. In fact, the sweat sessions resulted in better short- and long-term memory, improved verbal reasoning, and a longer attention span. All professional athletes spend time in gyms and for good reason; building strength can give you an edge on your opponent.
6. Feel stronger, Gain Strength without Bulking
One of the most common reasons women avoid weight training is because they are afraid of “bulking.” This is a misconception as it physically can not happen. Women simply don’t have the testosterone to build muscle like men. Women have 10 to 30 times less testosterone than men and have a much harder time gaining size from strength training. Instead women develop muscle definition and strength without the size. Feeling strong and healthy goes a long way in effecting our mental wellbeing and how we feel about ourselves. People who feel good about their bodies are more confident and generally feel happier in their day to day lives and strength training can help with this.Being physically strong can also give you the freedom to do many different activities, jobs or simply give you the energy and strength to run around after active children daily.
7. Improved balance
Better muscle tone and increased strength due to strength training has also been suggested to improve balance. This is important in older women, who may be more at risk of falls and injury due to weak muscle tone, but also in younger women.
8. Better blood glucose control, improved insulin sensitivity
Strength workout primes our body to use carbs to our physique and strength building advantage. Many nutrition experts argue that getting your body to be more sensitive to insulin is a critical component to the fat loss process. The higher our insulin sensitivity, the better you will be at converting carbs for energy in your workouts, and the less likely you are to use them as fat storage in your adipose tissue. Resistance and strength training can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life due to increased insulin sensitivity.
While heavy cardio may burn more calories, our cortisol can chronically increase if overdone, priming us to store body fat rather than burn it.
Strength training has been linked with improved blood glucose control in a number of studies. It is thought that people with type 2 diabetes can improve blood glucose levels with the addition of strength training.
9. Your heart will be healthier
The American Heart Association recommends resistance training for decreased risk of cardiovascular events and as part of rehabilitation in those who have previous heart conditions. Strength training can have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as decreased levels of LDL “bad’ cholesterol, and increased HDL “good’ cholesterol in the blood; may help to reduce blood pressure, although people with high blood pressure should not commence strength training without a doctor’s approval.
10. Enhance mood & handle stress better
Yoga isn’t the only Zen-inducing kind of exercise. Break a sweat in the weight room and you’ll stay cool under pressure. Exercise and weight-training release endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and fight depression. An increased in endorphins naturally reduces stress and anxiety. Endorphins also stimulate the mind, improving alertness and boosting energy. Weight-training can brighten your entire day or help you combat a bad one. Study found that after a stressful situation, the blood pressure levels of people with the most muscle returned to normal faster than the levels of those with the least muscle.
11. Supports Healthy Libido & Mood
There are many healthy reasons associated with testosterone that also benefit women, most notably an improved sex drive and consistently elevated moods. In small doses like the amount secreted when women perform compound barbell strength training, the result will be improved lean body mass, more elevated energy and mood, and a healthier sex drive and libido.