Do you feel intimidated whenever you walk by the weight room in your gym? Have you wondered about the positive benefits of lifting weights- but you still haven’t mustered the courage to try? You’re not alone!
While many women shy away from pumping iron, the ones who do lift know the amazing benefits this exercise style provides. It’s time for you to get started!
Let’s get into the top benefits of strength training for women. (Hint: Getting bulky isn’t one of them!)
7 Reasons Women Should Add Strength Training to Your Fitness Routine
#1 Shred More Fat
Do you have stubborn body fat that just won’t quit? Frustrating, isn’t it? Interestingly, women tend to think that shedding fat comes in the form of restrictive diets and mindless hours of cardio exercise.
It turns out that isn’t the case! Research shows that when women incorporate just two sessions of strength training per week, they burn more fat and gain more muscle.
That’s because lifting boosts your metabolism. That means you’re torching calories for several hours after your gym session. With cardio, on the other hand, you stop burning fat quickly after the workout.
As we get older, we face the unfortunate risk of our metabolisms slowing down. This means we tend to gain weight faster- while finding it harder to burn it off. Therefore, strength training can play an influential role in showing your metabolism who’s boss!
#2 Reduce Injury Risk
As you grow older, your risk for injury increases. Weight training, on the other hand, can provide some leverage against these odds.
That’s because weight lifting increases the strength in your joints and connective tissues. This strength can offset injury, improve athletic performance, and keep your body strong into old age. Talk about a win-win.
#3 Improve Sleep Quality
Are you one of the nearly 70% of Americans who struggles with sleep at least once a week? Sleep problems are aggravating, but hitting the weights may help.
First of all, exercise tires you out! Furthermore, it triggers a spike in body temperature. The post-exercise reduction in temperature may actually produce sedative effects.
Furthermore, exercise may naturally reduce insomnia because it decreases symptoms of anxiety, arousal, and depression- all of which are risk factors for increasing insomnia effects.
That said, you’ll need to experiment with an exercise time that works for you. Some people swear by working out first thing in the morning. Others prefer to do it later at night.
There isn’t a “best” time to lift. The “best” time is the one that you can stay consistent with, however strength training for women at whatever time works can certainly help!
#4 Increase Physical Strength
Take a moment and think about all the physical labor you do on a daily basis. From carrying multiple bags of groceries to moving furniture to cradling fussy kids, we move our bodies all the time.
That said, even moderate weight lifting can improve your daily strength by as much as 50%! Imagine how much more energy you’ll have throughout the day. And imagine how many bags of groceries you’ll be able to carry at a single time.
Furthermore, even if you start out lifting only using your bodyweight, you’ll notice how fast you progress the more you stick with the program. Exercises that may seem impossible to you right now may be a complete breeze in a few months.
#5 Reduce Risk of Medical Issues
We all know that exercise is one of the best strategies for promoting overall health and wellness. That said, strength training can directly reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Lifting weights can improve your cardiovascular health by increasing your HDL (the good cholesterol), decreasing your LDL (the bad cholesterol), and lowering your blood pressure. It can also improve how your body processes sugar, which may reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Finally, along with a healthy diet, strength training can help control weight. A healthy weight can reduce the risk of many medical issues, including cancer, stroke, and even premature death.
#6 Improve Mental Health
Do you struggle with depression or anxiety? Do you go to therapy or take medication, but still struggle with aggravating symptoms?
As it turns out, women have higher rates of anxiety and mood disorders than men. Your mental health is just as significant as your physical health. If you don’t take care of it, you will undoubtedly notice the unfortunate side effects.
Mental health professionals commonly recommend exercise as part of a well-rounded treatment program. You will start reaping the benefits after just a few minutes of sweating. In fact, research shows that active people report less depression than inactive people.
Exercise increases serotonin, and it actually works similarly as antidepressants. Furthermore, exercise releases endorphins, which help reduce stress and anxiety.
#7 Improve Body Image
Are you dissatisfied by what you see in the mirror? While many women struggle with body image issues, exercise can be a powerful tool in restoring their confidence.
As mentioned, strength training decreases fat and increases lean muscle. That means your clothes will start fitting better, and you’ll enjoy a more lean and toned look.
Furthermore, strength training feels good. Watching yourself progress and lifting more than you thought you could provides a fantastic confidence boost. You’ll learn how to appreciate your body for all it does for you- and that appreciation will naturally boost how you feel about your appearance.
There are numerous benefits of strength training for women. From improving your overall health to warding off life-threatening diseases to looking better, you owe it to yourself to start pumping some iron!