In recent years, many studies have been published showing the benefits of weight training for women. Still, the number of women who take this recommendation to heart is still quite low. Most women who exercise are spending most of their gym time on cardiovascular exercise because they are afraid weight training will make the look bulky or they feel that walking on the treadmill is sufficient. Whatever your reasons for avoiding the weights, if you are a woman, here are some reasons why you need to take strength training seriously.

  • You Will Be Stronger: By increasing your strength, household chores will be easier.  Lifting kids, groceries or laundry will no longer seem tiring. If your maximum strength is    increased, daily tasks and routine exercise will be far less likely to cause injury. Research indicates that even moderate weight training can increase a woman’s strength by 30 to 50    percent.
  • You Will Lose Body Fat: The average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of    fat. As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, and you burn more calories all day long. Generally speaking, for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn    35 to 50 more calories each day. That can really add up.
  • You Will Gain Strength Without Bulk: Research has found that unlike men, women typically don’t gain size from strength training. Compared to men, women have 10 to    30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle size to increase. Women will, however, develop muscle tone and definition.
  • You Decrease Your Risk Of Osteoporosis: Weight training can increase spinal bone density by up to 13 percent in just six months. This, coupled with an adequate amount of    dietary calcium, can be a women’s best defense against osteoporosis.
  • You Will Reduce Your Risk Of Injury, Back Pain and Arthritis: Strength training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases    joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury. A recent 12-year study showed that strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain.
  • You Will Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease: Weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol,    increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. When cardiovascular exercise is added, these benefits are maximized.
  • You Will Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes: Weight training has been shown to improve the way the body processes sugar, which may reduce the risk of diabetes. Adult-onset    diabetes is a growing problem for both women and men. Research indicates that weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in four months.
  • You Will Improve Your Attitude And Fight Depression: A recent study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully    than standard counseling did. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program, all important factors in fighting    depression.
  • You Will Have More Energy: Weight training not only helps to make your body run more efficiently, but also can improve the quality of your sleep. Both of these things,  in conjunction with the hormones released through exercise, will help you feel more energetic all day long!
 

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