Many women are hesitant to incorporate strength training into their exercise routine for fear of gaining massive amounts of muscle and looking bulky. This is simply a myth.
Men produce a hormone called testosterone, which allows their body to gain large amounts of muscle.
As a woman's body does not produce high amounts of testosterone, lifting weights will not bulk up their muscles, but will instead tone them up and create a more fit physique.
Strength training is beneficial for women of all ages. Below are a few of the most well known benefits.
Lose Up To 40% More Fat
You may think that long cardio sessions are the secret to blasting excess belly fat. This actually isn't true.
A study done by a group of researchers at Penn State examined 3 groups of dieters with varying activity levels. Whereas the majority of the individuals lost roughly 21 pounds, those who incorporated strength training into their routine lost 6 more pounds of pure body fat than those who only performed cardio exercises.
Your Clothing Will Fit Better
Studies have shown that most women between the ages of 30 and 50 lose 10% of their body's muscle. Over time, this lost muscle tone is replaced by unsightly fat.
Whereas you may weigh the same, your waist size may have increased.This is because fat takes up 18% more space than muscle.
Your Heart Will Be Healthier
A study conducted at the University of Michigan shows that individuals who perform strength training exercises 3 times per week for 2 months lowered their diastolic blood pressure by 8 points on average.
This may not seem like a drastic reduction, but it is enough to reduce your risk of having a stroke by 40%.
You Will Live Longer
A study conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina shows that individuals who have a higher percentage of muscle as compared to body fat have a lower risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease related death.
Your Mood Will Improve
Researchers have discovered that individuals who performed strength training exercises 3 times per week for a period of 6 months were better able to handle anger and stressful situations, and had an overall improved mood.
Osteoporosis is a concern among women of post-menopausal age.
Studies have shown that resistance training is highly effective at increasing bone density, which can reduce the risk of fractures as women age.
You Will Burn More Calories
One reason you will burn more calories is because muscle burns more calories when the body is at rest than fat does.
Another reason is, when you perform strength training exercises, you create tiny tears in your muscle tissue. Your body must expend extra energy to try to repair this damage, therefore raising your metabolism.
You Will Be More Productive
Researchers have found that individuals are 15% more productive at both work and home on days they strength train.
This could mean an extra pat on the back from your boss, or a little extra relaxation time after your housework is finished.