There are many reasons why women should lift weights and the physical benefits of strength training for women are the most well-known. But it’s not just the fact that it helps us to get stronger and leaner that so many females are regularly lifting weights. Regular strength training helps to keep our bodies’ healthy and fights against the effects of ageing. It is for many of us is form of “Therapy” due to its amazing benefits for our mental health….
Builds Self – Confidence
One major benefit of strength training is that it helps to build up your sense of self-belief and confidence. It can help to you to believe in yourself and your abilities. That if you wholeheartedly put your mind and effort into something that you can achieve anything.
When you start out you can feel weak to begin with and only be able to lift the lightest of weights. Ask any regular gym goer we have all been there and have to start somewhere… But, by lifting weights regularly both your physical and mental strength will improve and constantly pushing yourself to do one more rep gives you an awesome feeling of empowerment. Before you know it you will be achieving things you never thought possible both in the gym and everyday life…
Keeps You Young
Strength Training is the best medicine there is for slowing down the ageing process and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and all sorts of other age related diseases. If you are a coach potato and don’t do any exercise, as you get older you will gradually lose muscle mass and your metabolic rate will slow down. This will generally lead to gaining more visceral fat along with all sorts of general aches, pains and illnesses.
But strength training can help combat all these problems. One study showed that just 10 weeks of regular resistance straining can result in an increase of 1.4 kg of lean weight, a 7% increase in metabolic rate and a 1.8 kg reduction of fat weight. Another study has shown that a six month program of strength training can not only drastically enhance your health, but also help to lower and reverse some of the effects of getting older. Age is just a number and if you are prepared to put in the work you can continue to be fit and healthy!
Strength training doesn’t just build muscles but also helps to build stronger bones; it can improve bone density, fight osteoporosis and can even help to build new bone. Women have smaller, thinner bones and therefore have a higher risk of osteoporosis. While it is more common to be at risk of osteoporosis after menopause, you can get it when you are a lot younger. So women of all ages should be actively taking steps to protect and strengthen their bones.
Studies have shown that strength training is one of the best ways to improve bone density and keep them healthy and strong. It can also help reduce the amount of bone deterioration and of any joint or back pain as we get older.
Statistics show that there are currently over 6.3million people in Australia with poor bone health and studies suggest up to 14 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis. Also that osteoporosis is the cause of women over 45 years, spending more time in hospital than any other disease. These are reasons why you should look after your bone health no matter your age and regular strength training can help you do that…
Benefits of Strength Training For Our Mind
There are loads of different studies that show aerobic exercise is beneficial to your mental health. But strength training is also a great way to help build yourself up mentally and well as physically. Studies have shown that regular strength training can not only relieve stress, but also helps the fight against depression and anxiety.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine found that participating in regular exercise can actually change the structure of your brain and how it functions by increasing blood flow. This can result in the production of new brain cells and spark the release of endorphins, which boost your mood and help relieve anxiety.
Another study that was published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, found that regularly participating in resistance exercise could bring about a significant reduction in depressive symptoms. Brad Stulberg wrote an amazing article in Outsideonline.com on how ‘Lifting weights eases anxiety and depression’. One powerful quote in this article from a psychiatrist that really hits home is…
“Depression is a paucity of hope and anxiety is a paucity of confidence.
– This is precisely why weightlifting is so effective.”
To sum it up lifting weights builds the whole body up both physically and mentally. It makes the body release endorphins and other feel good chemicals which help to relieve stress and lift our moods. This is the reason why a lot of us are sometimes just lifting weights because we need a good ‘Therapy Session’
Many women hit the cardio and reduce calories when they want to lose fat . You will burn more calories during an hour of cardio than you would an hour of weight training. Doing this will reduce you in size, but it is highly likely that you will lose muscle as well as fat. Strength training is more effective at building muscle and reducing fat in the long run! Lean muscles raise your BMR so burn more calories at rest than other tissues in the body. Studies have shown that after strength training sessions your metabolic rate can be boosted for up to 38 hrs.
Just doing regular strength training along with a controlled diet will result in stronger lean muscles and less fat on top of them. This means that while the weight on the scales might not change drastically your will start to look better in and out of your clothes.
Limited time to train but want to see results go for the big lifts like squats, deadlifts, chest press and rows. These are all known as compound exercises as they incorporate a number of muscles across multiple joints at the same time. You can speed the fat loss process up by introducing some HIT or cardio into the mix. Just make sure that your nutrition is also on track.
The benefits of strength training are numerous and lifting weights regularly can improve your body, mind and quality of life. It gives you more self-confidence and you feel good in your own skin. The act of constantly pushing yourself to work out and do one more set or rep gives you an awesome feeling of empowerment, which you can take into your everyday life…