When you think of weight-lifting, you can’t help but imagine big men with bulging muscles, but lifting weights and resistance training isn’t just for men and doesn’t necessarily mean building bulging muscles! For women, weight lifting and resistance training performed in a sensible way can bring a host of health benefits as well as helping to tone the body.
As we get older, women can have a tendency to:
- Put more weight on – leading to a higher risk of developing diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
- Develop flabby arms – the so-called “bingo wings”!
- Lose bone density – leading to a higher risk of osteoporosis.
- Lose joint mobility.
- Lose muscle – between the ages of 30 and 50 you’re likely to lose around 10% of your body’s total muscle.
Weight-lifting and resistance training can help improve all of the above, providing that it is performed in a sensible way. Medium intensity resistance training performed just 3 times a week could help improve your overall health and well-being, leading to a stronger, healthier and more confident YOU!
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that lifting weights and resistance training can bring for women (and men!):
Benefits of Weight Lifting and Resistance Training for Women
- Helps with fat loss.
- Helps to increase lean body mass.
- Helps to tone the body.
- Helps to improve bone density for stronger bones.
- Helps to improve joint mobility.
- Helps to build muscle mass.
- Helps to improve upper and lower body strength.
- Helps to improve cardio capacity.
- Helps to lower your level of stress hormones, helping to relieve anxiety and depression.
- Helps to decrease your risk of getting type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases.
- Helps to increase overall energy levels.
- Helps to increase your metabolism, leading to burning more calories.
- Helps to improve your cognitive abilities, memory and attention span.
- Helps to improve quality sleep.
A big advantage with weight-training is that it’s more effective with fat loss than many other forms of exercise, and continues to burn fat even after you’ve finished working out.
It’s interesting that with other types of exercise, although you may lose the same amount of weight, you lose both fat and muscle, with an average of around 25% of the weight loss coming from muscle loss, whereas with weight-training it is almost all pure fat loss.
More Muscle = More Calorie Expenditure
As you increase your strength and your body’s lean muscle mass, your body will begin to use calories more efficiently. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more muscle contractions you’ll have and the more calories you will burn.
N.B. If you’ve never lifted weights or done any resistance training, it is always advisable to consult your doctor/health care provider and/or a trained sports coach before undertaking any new exercise regime.
See also Health Benefits of Exercise