There are several components to training for overall fitness and today I’m going to have a look at strength training.
For some reason, women tend to flock to the cardio section of the gym while only a handful will venture over to the weights section. Many women are still hesitant to lift weights. And while cardiovascular health is a very important piece of the health puzzle, strength training is not to be ignored. There are just so many benefits to resistant training! I will just touch on a few.
Who doesn’t want to feel stronger?
Moderate weight training increases a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent. That extra strength will make it easier to accomplish some daily activities, such as lifting children or groceries. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program.
Building muscle will help increase your base metabolic rate, so you will burn more calories all day long, even when you aren’t exercising.
Balance and mobility
When you get stronger, your joints and muscles work together with more ease, therefore improving your balance, flexibility and functionality of everyday movements. As we age (true, in a previous blog I had said I am in my thirties, late thirties… and I know see that aging is inevitable and I’m looking to fight it the best I can) our muscle mass decreases as does our stability and balance.
You Decrease Your Risk Of Osteoporosis
Resistance training is one of a women’s best weapons to fight off osteoporosis. The best activity for your bones is weight-bearing exercise, this helps increase bone density and strength.
Build and maintain muscle mass
After the age of 35 we slowly lose a small percentage of muscle mass every year if we don’t work to keep it. Strength training can help you keep and build muscle mass. However If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body.
There are different types of resistance training. You may feel more comfortable with one over the other or you just might want to mix it up:
• Your own body weight – you can use your own body weight for exercises such as abdominal curls, squats, push-ups. Always available to you 🙂
• Free weights – the most common strength training tools are dumbbells or barbells
• Weight machines – some people prefer machines to dumbbells as they feel risk of misuse or injury is less. Machines have adjustable seats with handles attached either to weights or now hydraulics
• Resistance bands or tubing are like giant rubber bands – these provide resistance when stretched. They are inexpensive, portable, easily stored and can be adapted to most workouts. The bands provide continuous resistance throughout a movement, you can easily increase or decrease the amount of resistance.
If your workouts currently include strength training several times a week then keep it up!!! If not then don’t wait, get started!!!