A lot of females go to the gym and use the aerobic machines to achieve the body shape and fitness they are seeking. This is fine, but a good fitness program for anyone - male or female - should have balance between all the training modalities. What a lot of women leave out is strength or weights training. We think this is a big mistake!
Now you might think strength training is just for men, or maybe you're worried that you'll bulk up if you lift weights (admittedly no one wants to look like a female body builder!). But in reality strength training reduces body fat, increases lean muscle mass, gives you shape, increases tone and definition, provides numerous mental benefits, wards off osteoporosis, and even helps your body burn calories more efficiently. Wow, what a fantastic training tool!
You don't need to worry about bulking up - you'll actually look thinner because your muscles will be more toned. And increased lean muscle mass will provide you with a bigger "engine" to burn calories so even on days when you don't workout you'll be burning more energy! Females can definitely benefit from weights training.
• Increase your strength and stability: strong muscles enhance your ability to move and lift things. Your aerobic workouts will be more effective because with extra strength you can work harder.
• Maintain and increase your bone mineral density: working your body with weights increases bone density and decreases your risk of osteoporosis. When bone is stressed appropriately through muscle movement, it gets stronger.
• Control body fat by boosting your metabolic rate: when you lose muscle, your body gradually becomes less efficient at burning calories. That's because muscle burns three times more calories than fat does. The more muscle mass your body has, the more efficiently and quickly it burns calories, even when you're at rest.
• Reduce your risk of injury: building muscle protects your joints from injury during aerobic exercise and in normal daily activities. Strength training also helps protect your lower back and keep it healthy.
• Improve your overall body image: studies suggest that women who strength train feel more self-confident and have an improved body image.
Still not convinced?! Consider the alternative - if you don't use your muscles, you lose your muscles. Your lean muscle mass diminishes with age, and your muscles will actually shrink if they're not used. This is especially important for older women and osteoporosis risk because resistance training decreases your risk of falls, increases your bone density, and increases your general strength and stability.
So how do you get started? Have a look at our introduction to weights training here, or read our article on how weights wont make you bulky here!
To find out more about strength training, weights training, women and weights please contact us!