Strong Is Sexy: 10 Benefits of Strength Training for Women
Recent research reveals that women are less likely than men to meet their regular exercise needs. In fact, while 57% of men age 18 and older achieve their recommended daily aerobic exercise levels, only 49% of women do.
For some women, visiting the weightlifting room at the local gym can seem like a daunting and intimidating task. For years, strength training has been marketed and approached as a primarily male-dominated realm.
However, it’s time for the pendulum to swing.
There are many benefits to strength training for women. If you’re ready to look and feel your best, let’s put stereotypes aside and discover what this type of workout can do for you.
1. Burn More Fat
Have you bought into the notion that the only way to lose belly fat is to stick to aerobic exercise? Are you tired of running on the treadmill and taking spin classes every day just to tighten and tone your body?
While these workouts can be beneficial, you might still find yourself falling short of your weight-loss goals.
While aerobic exercise is great for your health, it isn’t a cure-all solution. Strength training helps you shed fat and build muscle, and it’s all thanks to the uptick in your metabolism.
When you participate in an intense weight-training program, your metabolism elevates and stays that way. This helps you burn more calories for a longer period of time. You can burn both calories and fat for up to 48 hours after your workout.
If you’re doing cardio alone, your fat-burning period is much more short-lived.
2. Strengthen Your Bones
Did you know that 44 million people are at risk of developing osteoporosis? Of this number, 68% are women.
Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease that occurs when your body starts to lose bone, makes too little new bone, or both. It can lead to a range of symptoms, including back pain, bone fractures, height loss, and more. Specifically, researchers estimate that one in every two women age 50 and above will experience at least one osteoporosis-related bone fracture in their lifetime.
While upping your calcium intake can help lower your risk of osteoporosis, you can do much more for your bones by lifting weights. Strength training helps women build and maintain muscle mass, as well as bone density. This way, as your muscles get stronger, your bones do, too!
As you strengthen your bones and train them to hold more weight, you’ll also do wonders for your balance and flexibility. Improving on these now can make you more agile and sure-footed as you get older.
3. Alter Your Body Shape
Many women chalk their body shape up to genetics, and wrongly believe that there isn’t anything they can do to change it. If you’re unsatisfied with the way yours looks, then strength training can help.
Depending on how you approach it and the methods you use, weightlifting can help you trim down, bulk up, or achieve those curves you’ve always wanted.
On that note, let’s address the elephant in the room and the question that’s mostly likely posed in any conversation around weightlifting for women: Will strength training cause you to bulk up?
While some women might enter into a new routine hoping to get buff, others might not be too keen on experiencing those bodily changes. Let us put your mind at ease. Women don’t have the same types and levels of natural, muscle-building hormones that men do.
This means that if you simply lift weights without any supplements, you’ll likely stay lean rather than get bulky. Of course, if this is the look you’re going for, then there are plenty of supplements that can help. This guide walks you through all the details you need to know about how to increase muscle mass using creatine, beta-alanine, and more.
4. Achieve a Natural Mood Boost
Arguably in no other time in history has the concept of self-care been so heavily discussed. Women around the world are rediscovering the simple pleasures of indulging themselves in routines that bring them joy.
For some, it’s a beloved skincare regimen that calms them down after the end of a busy day. Others enjoy curling up at night with a book. Then, there are some that choose to start their day meditating, or by sipping a warm mug of kanna tea.
If you’re looking for a way to grow physically and mentally, then strength training may be for you. When you engage in this activity, you increase your body’s natural production of endorphins, as well as serotonin, one of the primary happiness hormones.
The same applies to low-impact exercises, as well as cardio. You’ll get an instant confidence boost and you’ll be motivated to stay the course. To that end, don’t use weightlifting as a mechanism to completely overthrow your other workouts. Instead, consider mixing things up and lifting weights a few days a week.
5. Improve Functional Fitness
Put simply, functional fitness is the process of stimulating and training your muscles to work together to perform common, daily tasks. While many seniors focus on this type of exercise, it’s beneficial and important for all age groups.
Have you found yourself straining to lift heavy grocery bags? Do you lose coordination easily while balancing multiple items in your arms? Do common household chores, such as pushing and pulling a vacuum, leave you feeling strained and winded?
If so, strength training can help you grow stronger in these areas. As you discover your muscle mass is increasing, you’ll notice how much easier it is to perform common household activities. In response, you may also feel a great uptick in confidence as you become more physically capable.
It might sound menial, but consider how much easier it will be to open that jar of pickles on the refrigerator shelf now! Hand strength is an integral part of weightlifting and once your upper body is stronger, you’ll find that the simplest tasks are also the easiest.
6. Perform Better at Sports
Do you love visiting the tennis courts with your friends? What about playing basketball or hitting the golf range? There’s nothing like enjoying a sport that you love with others, though your performance might make you a little apprehensive.
What if we told you that lifting weights could even make you a better athlete?
No, you won’t become Shaquille O’Neal overnight. However, you will find that it’s easier to move, stretch, score and win! Building your muscle mass and strength is a great way to stay physically fit, and it also helps you build the endurance necessary to excel.
From cycling and swimming to skiing and skating, there isn’t a sport around that doesn’t become even a little easier when you get stronger.
7. Aid in Recovery and Repair
It isn’t all in your head. You aren’t accident-prone or clumsy. Chances are, your muscle mass might not be adequate enough to protect you against injury.
If this is the case, you may find that you feel unstable on your feet. This can increase your likelihood of injury, which only increases as you get older. Weightlifting helps you build stronger ligaments and tendons, and also boosts your overall joint stability.
The more you engage in this practice, the better you’ll protect yourself against future problems and concerns.
The caveat? For this to be the case, you have to lift weights correctly, following the proper form. Otherwise, you could put too much strain and pressure on the wrong parts of your body, which would only exacerbate your risk of injury.
If you do end up pulling a muscle while lifting, then there are plenty of ways to recoup and recharge at home. You can also start incorporating healthy botanicals into your fitness routine. Kratom powders, like the Red Sandai Kratom Powder offer a nutritious, ideal way to unwind on days when you’re too sore to hit the gym.
8. Improve Cardiovascular Health
Medical experts attribute around one in every five female deaths as being related to heart disease. It might be the leading cause of death for women worldwide, but there are steps you can take today to prevent it.
Strength training is one of them. Lifting weights engages your heart. As it pumps, it’s becoming stronger and more capable!
Other heart-healthy benefits of strength training include lower blood pressure and an increase of good” (HDL) cholesterol. Meanwhile, “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels subsequently decrease. When this transition occurs, it can greatly improve your cardiovascular health and puts less strain on your heart as it works to keep you well.
On the other hand, keep in mind that the opposite also holds true. Your heart is a muscle and requires exertion to grow. If you fail to exercise it on a regular basis, it could become both poor-functioning and disease-prone.
9. Tone Up Your Muscles
Want to look your best for the upcoming swimsuit season? Breaking a sweat on the elliptical may help you slim down, but you’ll have to work extra hard to get the toned look that you want.
This is where strength training can make a world of difference.
This type of exercise helps elongate, tighten, and tone up your muscles. Consider it as your most challenging, yet rewarding, yoga or pilates class! For best results, try resistance strength training.
This is any type of exercise that uses your muscles to create resistance. This resistance can come from a few different sources, including:
- Your body weight
- Free weights (e.g. dumbbells)
- Weight lifting machines
Sticking to cardio alone can help you burn a greater number of calories and decrease your level of fat. Yet, you’ll need to add some weights if you want to showcase a particular muscle group. While the overall effects of strength training may not look instantly visible in the mirror, remind yourself to not put too much stock in the scale.
Instead, focus on how you feel. Are your jeans bigger than they were at this point last year? Is your mental health back on track after a challenging year?
As you plan your approach, be sure to stick to a healthy, carb-controlled diet. You can also throw a little cardio into your workout routine to help you slim down as you tone up.
10. Improve Your Posture and Relieve Back Pain
Are you among the estimated 31 million Americans who suffer from lower back pain? If so, you know that it can strike at any time and when it does, it can wreak havoc on your quality of life.
One of the benefits of strength training for women is that this type of exercise can help naturally correct any issues you might have with your posture. As you become more aligned, you can reduce the amount of pressure that’s concentrated on your lower spine.
Especially if you sit in an office chair all day, weightlifting is a great way to warm up your sedentary muscles, build your bones, and strengthen your shoulders, back, and core. As you get stronger, you won’t be as tempted to slump. Instead, you’ll find that your shoulders naturally move back and your spine gets straighter.
Learn More About Strength Training For Women
Think strength training is only man’s sport? Think again! Women are quickly gaining ground in this realm, and are setting the stage for other young girls to follow in their footsteps.
If you’ve considered adding weights to your gym routine, we’re here to help you understand what to expect. We can also point you in the direction of the very best botanicals and supplements that can complement your journey.
Want to improve your outward appearance as you strengthen and fortify your body from the inside out? Strength training for women is a great place to start. From there, check out our comprehensive guide on eight anti-aging secrets that anyone should know!