The health benefits of strength training cannot be overlooked. Oftentimes, women will dismiss strength training because they don’t want to “bulk up” or get muscles, they just want to lose weight and their focus is cardio. This is a mistake that overlooks a powerful tool in an overall fitness and health regimen.
Strength training, which is also called weight training or resistance training, can have a beneficial health impact on your heart, bones, and balance. As a bonus, it could also help you lose weight.
This can be done using free weights, weight machines, bodyweight, or the increasingly popular resistance bands. Anything that gives resistance can be used, including using your body against gravity. You don’t have to think of strength training as something requiring a large investment in equipment. Strength training can be accomplished in a variety of ways. A set of resistance bands or a set of free weights can also get you started with a small investment.
As long as you are pushing your muscles into an effort against some sort of resistance so that it can adapt by getting stronger, you are strength training. This isn’t just for people looking to bulk up. It is for everyone, especially as you age.
Strength training helps prevent muscle mass that happens as we age, and it makes you stronger which provides benefits to you every day in the course of your normal life. At age 30 we start to lose muscle mass every year.
In addition to fighting against the loss of muscle mass, strength training also protects your bones. At age 40 we start losing bone mass at the rate of 1% per year. Strength training puts healthy stress on bones which encourages bone cells to adapt and create stronger and more dense bones.
This helps with your body’s strength and stability just as increased muscle mass contributes. It is also a factor that is increasingly important as we age. The health risks of osteoporosis are real for both women and men, and as we age breaking bones is increasingly common.
We are all familiar with the serious health risk of broken hips. 60% of people who break their hip fail to regain their full level of motion. Working to improve and strengthen your muscles as well as bones as part of your lifestyle for the long term is incredibly important. What you do now will pay life long dividends.
Strength training also helps with weight loss and keeping the weight off. Aerobic exercise gets the weight loss attention, but in addition to making you stronger and more fit, strength training increases your resting metabolism.
It boosts your calorie-burning long after you have finished your work out, and lasts longer than after doing an aerobic work out alone.
With so many benefits, it makes sense to make sure to incorporate some level of strength training into your routine. If you haven’t done strength training before you can start out slowly and work up to more as you increase your strength and fitness.
It is great for so many aspects of your immediate health and fitness, as well as, your long term well being.