Benefits of Strength Training for Women
When I was in college, exercising for me looked like jumping on the elliptical or treadmill and doing steady state cardio for 30-45 minutes and calling it a day. Don’t get me wrong, steady state cardio like this is really beneficial for our heart health and cardiovascular system, however it should not be the only means of exercise. For a long time women thought they could just run or do the elliptical to lose weight and get in shape. That may work for a season but eventually you will hit a plateau and your body will stop responding to that type of exercise.
One of my favorite ways to exercise and truly continue to challenge the body is through strength training. Thankfully there are a lot more resources out there now for women to help them in strength training. In fact, I myself created a helpful tool to teach women how to become their own personal trainers and implement effective workouts, mainly strength training. You can find out more about my Whole Body Fitness Planner at homebodysoul.lpages.co/wbfplanner.
Strength training and lifting weights is a great way to transform your body composition (muscle vs. fat) and change your physique. The goal should not simply be to lose weight or be a certain weight but to be your healthiest self. Someone can be 130 pounds but carry more body fat than ideal versus someone who could weigh the exact same, look smaller and more toned, and carry more muscle and less fat. This is the ideal scenario because more muscle equals more calories burned at rest throughout the day. How? Why? Because the more muscle on your frame, the higher your basal metabolic rate which is basically the amount of calories you burn at rest throughout the day. We want that number high because that means we can workout less but still maintain our weight. You will still have to workout and exercise but you can make your workouts more efficient and less time consuming. I think we can all agree that that would be wonderful!
Ok- back to strength training. Here are 3 benefits of strength training for women (just to name a few). Don’t be afraid to pick up the heavy weights and challenge your body! Strength is in the resistance and our bodies truly change in how they look, feel, and operate when we strength train, add muscle, and lose fat.
- Strength training protects your bone health. Building and maintaining strong bones is vital as women especially as we age. One of the best ways to maintain strong bones is through strength training. Strength training helps support our bone density which naturally can decrease as we age.
- Strength training is a great low-impact exercise option. For those who have a hard time with high impact exercise, strength training is even more for you! When you work several muscle groups at the same time (i.e. compound movements) with little rest in between sets, your heart rate increases just like it would through higher impact exercise like running.
- Strength training can improve your mental health. There is something empowering about lifting weights, especially as a female. This alone can help boost your mood and make you feel not only physically strong but also mentally strong and resilient. Lifting weights helps us to tangibly tap into our internal mental strength reserves, which can definitely come in handy when life happens and we need that put that mental strength to use. Studies have also shown that those who participate in strength training have a lower incidence of depression.
I hope I convinced you to pick up the dumbbells and get to it! Are you ready to add in strength training to your workout regiment?!