Why Women Need Strength Training Part 1
Ever noticed when you step into a gym that women tend to gravitate towards cardio equipment and men towards weights? Most women believe that they just need to lose some body fat and they will then look and feel just fine. However, an important and obvious point to remember is that our bodies are made of skin, bones, MUSCLES and fat. Muscles enable us to meet the physical demands of our daily lives. Whether it‘s carrying groceries, lifting/playing with our kids or simply climbing up a flight of steps, we need muscles to do the work. Studies show that after the age of 30 we start to lose 0.5 to 1% of muscle mass every year. In addition, muscle strength also declines by an average of 12-15% per decade unless we make the effort to maintain them through diet and exercise.
Another reason that keeps women away from strength training is the fear of bulking up. But the fact is men have 15 to 20 times more testosterone (hormone responsible for muscle bulk) than women so the chances of women turning into female Schwarzeneggers from weight training are quite slim. A well-structured training program should therefore include a combination of strength, cardio and flexibility/stretching training.
The benefits of strength training include:
1. Becoming physically stronger as both muscles and bones gain strength
2. Boosting metabolism which in turn will help in losing weight
3. Muscle toning so they become tighter and not remain flabby
4. Reducing the risk of osteoporosis
5. Reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes
6. Reducing the risk of injury, back pain and arthritis as we age
So the next time you step into the gym don’t be afraid to lift some weights. If you need to learn how to start incorporating strength training into your routine, I will be writing more on this topic soon.