We are into third month of 2017, and it’s about that time for those New Year’s resolutions to be wavering. Maybe you have been committed to getting fit or losing weight but have yet to see any real results. The answer to this dilemma may simply be the type of exercising you are doing.
Strength training has been named one of the top fitness trends for 2017 and it is easy to see why. Strength training is far more beneficial than just cardio, especially steady state cardio, such as walking on a treadmill or cycling and yet many women are still afraid to use weights. Studies are showing the huge importance of strength training particularly for women over 40. Here are 8 reasons for you to consider.
1. You will lose body fat.
Studies 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 you gain lean muscle it will increase your metabolism, meaning your body uses more energy (calories) even at rest.
2. You will look leaner.
As you strengthen your muscles they tighten up so you start to look leaner. You do not have to worry about bulking up as women do not have the hormones to bulk as men do.
3. You will reduce your risk of Osteoporosis.
Doing resistance training is one of the only ways to build and maintain bone density as you age. Challenging the muscles forces the bones to continue to grow new tissue.
4. You will maintain better posture.
Strong muscles and strong bones will keep you standing tall as you age. Good posture aids in better digestion and breathing.
5. You will maintain your independence.
Increasing or maintaining your strength will make daily tasks such as carrying groceries or laundry baskets easier and make you less reliant on others. It will also reduce your risk of injury in doing daily activities.
6. Reduce your risk of injury and back pain.
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. Keeping strong Gluteal (butt) and core muscles will reduce back strain. Other studies have indicated that weight training can ease the pain of osteoarthritis and strengthen joints.
7. You will reduce your risk of heart disease.
The heart is a muscle, like other muscles in your body. Strength training helps your heart muscle to work more efficiently and as a result can also help to regulate blood pressure.
8. You will improve your mood and fight depression.
Exercise produces ‘feel good’ hormones that help you to feel happier and more confident making you better able to handle life’s challenges. Strength training in groups is a great social activity offering support of like-minded people.
Not all strength training exercises are created equally. Free weights are far more helpful in improving strength and stability as you are using stabilizing muscles as well as the targeted muscle group. Since this is how we function in real life it is highly recommended to train this way. Machines are beneficial for those totally new to exercise or coming back from an injury that require more assistance.
If you are unsure which method is better for you, stop by or call Women’s Only Health & Fitness; our Personal Trainers can give you advice on the best way for you to start growing your muscles. If you are interested in incorporating some strength training into your routine but unsure of where to start, check out our diverse class options. While all of our classes help with strength training, Tone-n-sculpt, Boot Camp, Tabata and our Personal training (individual or group classes) are a great place to start.
For details on all of our classes and class times, please visit our classes page.
Do you have another strength training question? Feel free to ask below or contact us privately.
Miriam | Owner
Women's Only Health & Fitness