Strength training is often a missing component in the workout routines of many women. Building lean muscle does more for women than sculpt their physique; it also improves their quality of life. The benefits of strength training are reason enough to consider a change in focus from all cardio to a balanced routine that includes weights.
Fight the Signs of Aging
Aging is often associated with a reduction in muscle mass and skin elasticity. Strength training can do for the inevitable aging process what no cosmetic can. Firmer skin, weight management, a brighter complexion and a balanced and limber physique are benefits of strength training that can make you appear younger and more vibrant.
Strength training is a natural antidepressant that elevates your level of endorphins and makes you feel great during and after each session. Strength training helps you get more restful sleep, improves your self-confidence and relieves stress and tension. Women who strength train note an improvement in their mood and general well-being during the weeks and months as strength-training exercises become part of their weekly training program.
Burn More Fat
Strength training burns more calories long term than cardio alone. Using resistance during your workouts helps build lean muscle, and since lean muscle burns more calories than fat, strength training is a more effective weight loss method than endless hours of cardio. More lean muscle also contributes to an increased metabolism and will help you maintain a healthy weight.
Build Stronger Bones
Muscle mass and bone density naturally diminish with age (usually beginning around age 30 for both sexes) but by strength training, women can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Research from Everyday Health states that about 68 percent of the 44 million Americans at risk for osteoporosis are women. Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to strength training by becoming stronger and denser. The best exercises for building stronger bones are weight-bearing exercises such as dumbbell biceps curls, squats and pushups.
Trinity Perkins is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications. She recently completed her Master of Science in health education from Kaplan University. She is a certified personal trainer and performance nutrition specialist.