8 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights
Over the past several years countless articles and studies have shown the benefits of strength training for women. Still, relatively few women take these recommendations to heart. Many are intimidated by weights, and the big gym atmosphere. Others are overwhelmed by the barrage of information they are bombarded with, much of which seems contradictory. Some feel like they will become bulky and unfeminine. Whatever your excuse may be to avoid the iron, here are 8 reasons why you should give strength training a shot.
You Will Be Leaner A recent study found that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. As lean mass increases, so does your resting metabolism. This means that you will burn more calories even at rest with your increased lean mass. For every pound of lean muscle you gain 35 to 50 more calories per day.
You Will Gain Strength Without Bulk Researchers found that unlike men, women typically don't gain
size from strength training, because compared to men, women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle growth.You will, however, develop muscle tone and definition.
You Decrease Your Risk Of Osteoperosis Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months. This, coupled with an adequate amount of dietary calcium, can be a women's best defense against osteoporosis.
You Will Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
You Will Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes Studies indicate that weight training may improve the way the body processes sugar, which may reduce the risk of diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes is a growing problem for women and men. Research indicates that weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in four months.
You Will Reduce Your Risk Of Injury, Back Pain and Arthritis Strength training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury.
It Is Never Too Late To Benefit Women in their 70s and 80s have built up significant strength through weight training and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age. Note, however, that a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.
You Will Improve Your Attitude And Fight Depression A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program.