5 Reasons Why Women Should Strength Train
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Cardiovascular Exercise is good and should be part of any Fitness program. However, as women age, they should build their exercise routines around Strength Training.
Women who are over forty years of age have issues to consider that younger women don’t have to deal with. These include; a slowing metabolism, a less fit and firm appearance, a decrease in bone density, and an increased risk of injury in everyday activities.
But what if you don’t want to bulk up like the men who lift weights at the gym?
Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights and strength training won’t make women look bulky. Bulking out like a man requires testosterone. You don’t need to worry about looking bulky.
Strength training will help you feel and look your best. Here are 5 reasons why women should strength train:
1) Muscle Up your Metabolism
As you get older, you naturally lose muscle, which is the major cause of your metabolism slowing down. Cardiovascular exercise does nothing to reverse this process but Strength Training does.
Wonder why losing muscle causes your metabolism to slow down? Here is the answer: If you think of your body as an automobile then your muscle is the engine that burns the fuel and fat is the baggage you carry in the trunk.
Muscle is that active part of your body that burns the calories you consume each day. A pound of muscle can burn as much as 50 calories in a day.
Fat, on the other hand, is the body’s security blanket. Your body mainly stores fat just in case you need it for fuel in times of famine. It is not very active. A pound of fat only requires about five calories daily to exist.
Starting at age forty, you naturally lose between a half-pound to a pound of muscle each year. That muscle is replaced by fat if diet and exercise stay the same.
From age forty to age fifty, you could lose as much as ten pounds of muscle. That’s about a 500-calorie per day deficit in your metabolism. Those extra 500 calories each day that you are not burning are being turned into fat. Now, do you see why those jeans don’t fit the way they used to?
Strength Training is the key to reversing this process. It builds muscle and reduces fat. The results of a study by Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D. and Strength Training consultant for the American Council on Exercise, showed that women who weight lift typically lose twice as much body fat as muscle that they gain.
2) Strengthen your Bones
After women turn age forty, their rate of bone loss exceeds the rate of new bone formation, meaning that bone density starts to decline. This is the reason why some older women are hunched forward.
Strength Training can slow and even reverse this process. This form of exercise increases muscle strength that results in increase bone density and fight osteoporosis. Women who strength train often experience less joint pain, less bone loss, and decreased lower back pain.
3) Tone your Body
Although cardio is great at improving your heart health and overall stamina, strength training will help you look good. Muscle is that component of your body that makes you look firm and fit. However, most women over forty concentrate on cardio to tone their bodies because that’s what worked when they were younger. They fail to realize they no longer have the muscle mass to firm up as they once did.
The main reason you lose that firm and fit appearance as you age is the loss of muscle. If you want to fight the forces of gravity then you have to build some muscle.
4) Staying Active and Injury-free
Building strength also allows you to do all your daily activities more easily. When done correctly, strength training can mean less risk of injury every time you work out. As you lift weights you strengthen your muscles and bones, which means you’ll be less likely to injure yourself during your daily sweat session. Weight lifting increases strength and stamina, and gives you the confidence to maintain an active lifestyle.
5) Improve your abilities
Want to run faster or farther? Lift weights. As you work your muscles, it’ll strengthen them and give you abilities you didn’t know you needed in your cardio workout. Have you hit a cardio plateau? Strength training can help you crush it. You’ll also feel stronger and more capable when you’re lifting regularly.
Many of the changes that women over forty normally associate with getting older are caused by muscle loss and inactivity. That old phrase “use it or lose it” is definitely true when it comes to looking fit and staying young.
The good news is you don’t have to succumb willingly to the forces of gravity. Through Strength Training, you can reverse muscle loss and slow down the aging process.
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