Sorry guys, but today’s post is for the ladies. Ok ladies, it’s time to lift. Lift weight that is.
There is an incredible stigma attached to weight training, especially for females. It might be the myths associated it with such as lifting weights will make women bulky or it’s hard on their joints, but for whatever reason you are avoiding lifting weights, here are five reasons why you should consider taking strength training seriously.
1. More muscle, more calorie expenditure
If your only perception of weight training is to build size, you’re wrong. If you are to compare strength training to cardiovascular training, resistance training will win the battle of coming out on top to burn calories. As you increase your strength and lean muscle mass, your body uses calories more efficiently. Strength training can boost your metabolism so in turn you can burn more calories over the course of a day. More calories are used to make and maintain muscle. You can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time as your lean muscle increases, so does your resting metabolism. This allows you to burn more calories all day long.
2. Improve bone density
As we age, we lose bone density and weight training can help manage the loss. There are three characteristics that have the largest impact on increasing bone density when exercising, they are; the magnitude of strain the exercise imparts, the rate of which muscle strain the exercise is done, and the frequency that the exercise strains the muscle. A combination of all three play a role in developing greater bone density.
3. Stress relief
Studies have shown that moderate intensity weight training can improve memory and cognitive function. Along with this, people who strength train on a regular basis experience fewer adverse reactions to stressful situations than those who don’t. Basically, weight training reduces stress by releasing endorphins which are chemicals that are produced in the brain. Weight training will stress and tear muscle fibers, which in turn increases the endorphin production based upon the intensity of the exercise. Since our bodies and minds are linked so closely together, when your body feels better, your mind will as well.
4. Increase energy level
Strength training will elevate your level of endorphins and in turn boost your energy level and improve your mood. Even long after a weight training session, it will help fight fatigue.
It sounds so funny that in order for people to get more energy, they need to find energy to workout. As you continue to exercise on a regular basis whether it be 3, 4, 5+ times a week, your muscular endurance will skyrocket. Your will lose body fat, maintain lean body mass, and most importantly, your body doesn’t have to work as hard doing normal activity. What was once difficult to do on a daily basis like walk up a flight of stairs, becomes easy. Your feeling of fatigue decreases.
Exercising doesn’t make you tired. In fact, it actually increases energy in your body. I do caution people when first starting an exercise program to workout at lower-moderate intensities. By doing so, it will help prevent you from depleting your body and avoid feeling fatigued.
So how do you find out what your intensity is? Hire a professional trainer, coach, or exercise physiologist who can help you determine how well your body is conditioned and where your starting point should be. Seeking out professional help will help decrease your chances of crossing the threshold into tiredness.
5. Reduce your risk of injury
Injury prevention is one area that is often overlooked and strength training can be a very effective tool for many reasons. First of all, it not only builds stronger muscles, it increases connective tissue strength and joint stability. Strength training is not just about the muscles but also the tendons, ligaments, and bones that surround the muscle. When our muscles and tendons are strong, they keep our body in proper alignment which in turn protects the bones and joints when moving.
Injuries occur when a particular area of the body is weak to other areas. For instance, whether a muscle, ligament, joint, or bone comes into play during an activity and a one of these areas cannot handle the stress placed upon it, an injury will occur. This is why it is critical to have a balanced strength program to eliminate these weak areas depending on the activity you are performing. Muscle imbalances are one of the most common causes of injuries. This happens which a muscle becomes much stronger than its opposing muscle (ie. quad vs. hamstring), and it becomes fatigued and then eventually injured. Again, a balanced strength training program will help eliminate this problem.
So get out there and pick up a weight. Again, make sure that you always consult a physician before you start any program and enlist the practices of a personal trainer to not only help you put together a balanced and safe program but so that they can help you align your program with your goals.
Eat Clean & Live Green!
Your Compassionate Coach,