Strength Exercises Are Important for Everyone, But Especially for Women
Cardio, strength training and stretching do very different things for the body, and each is absolutely essential.
What surprises me is that most people do not realize that from about age 30, we are all losing muscle tissue all over the body, that it’s a natural process of aging, and aerobics or stretching do not restore muscle. Only strength training builds muscle.
Here’s why it’s even more important for women!
13 Reasons Why Women Must do Weight Training
We’re women, we must lose weight, we must be healthy and vibrant and toned and ready for the bikini at the drop of a seasonal change. So, why must we also focus on Weight Training in our workouts? –
1. Lose 40 Percent More Fat
According to one report, Dale Schoeller, a nutrition researcher at the University of Wisconsin at Madison says that exercise, “particularly the iron pumping kind,” can preserve muscle and bone, so that up to 85 percent of what you trim is fat. It is otherwise noted that if you are dieting, weight lifting can help you lose fat instead of muscle and bone. Most people don’t realize it, but when they diet, only about 60-75 percent of the weight they lose is actually fat. So if you shed 20 pounds, five or six of those pounds are from nonfat tissue, including muscle, bone and water leaving your body weaker.
Accordingly, here’s the math: A pound of muscle burns five to ten calories daily, even if you’re lying on the couch. With a moderately strenuous weight lifting regimen, women can gain one to two pounds of muscle after three months.
2. Clothes Will Fit Better
Research shows that between the age of 30 and fifty, you’ll likely lose 10 percent of your body’s total muscle. Worse yet, it’s likely to be replaced by fat over time, says one study. And that increases your waist size, because one pound of fat takes up eighteen percent more space than one pound of muscle…..
University of Pittsburgh researchers studied 169 overweight adults and found that those who didn’t follow a three hours per week training regimen ate more than their allotted 1500 calories per day. The reverse was also true sneaking snacks sabotaged their workouts. The study authors said both diet and exercise likely remind you to stay on track, aiding your weight loss goals.
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3. Burn More Calories
Lifting increases the number of calories you burn… because after each strength workout, your muscles need energy to repair their fibers. In fact, researchers found that when people did a total body workout with just three big muscle moves, their metabolisms were raised for 39 hours afterward. They also burned a greater percentage of calories from fat compared with those who didn’t lift.
4. Handle Stress Better
A Harvard study once found that ten weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than counseling. This is particularly important for women since they are more than twice as likely to experience depression and only one out of three actually seek care.
5. Become Happier
It is also noted that when you lift weights –
- You have an instant release of ‘feel good’ hormones, called endorphins
- You enjoy a feeling of accomplishment after you finish your workout
- You know if you can achieve getting through your grueling hard core weight training workout, you can achieve anything!
- Your endurance level is increased, so you have more energy to tackle whatever comes at you…..
6. Build Stronger Bones
WebMD reports that weight training for osteoporosis – not just walking or doing aerobics, but lifting weights can help protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis related fractures….It is further noted that in one study – postmenopausal women who participated in a strength training program for a year saw significant increases in their bone density in the spine and hips, areas affected most by osteoporosis in older women.
7. Get Into Shape Faster
Burning more calories burns more fat and therefore you are getting into shape quicker while building muscle and shredding fat at the same time.
8. Healthier Heart
Research is said to show that strength training doesn’t just build strong muscles and bones; it offers big benefits for your heart, too. This is why the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends it as a tool in maintaining heart health, preventing heart disease, and even helping those with heart disease to improve their condition.
9. More Productivity
Researchers found that workers were 15 percent more productive on days they exercised compared with days they didn’t.
10. Live Longer
The intensity of your resistance training can achieve a number of beneficial changes on the molecular, enzymatic, hormonal and chemical level in your body, which will also help slow down and in many cases stop many of the disease caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
11. Be Smarter!
Accordingly, Brazilian researchers found that six months of resistance training enhanced cognitive function. In fact, the sweat sessions resulted in better short and long term memory, improved verbal reasoning and longer attention span…..
As you build muscle, your body begins to take a nice hourglass shape. Though endurance exercise can help you lose weight, that weight comes in the form of both fat and muscle tissue.
13. Quality Sleep
Strength training is said to greatly improve sleep quality, aiding in your ability to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and wake less often during the night.
A study published in the International SportMed Journal, suggests that morning resistance training or high intensity training greatly affects the quality of sleep and lengthens the time of sleep the night after training.