Most women balk at the idea of doing weight resistance training. After all, for many years, weight resistance was mostly a man’s domain. A lot of women may entertain mental pictures of bulging muscles when they contemplate weight training. However, this could not be further from the truth. It is impossible for women to build big muscles without taking hormone injections. In fact, the benefits of weight training in women are numerous. Let’s have a quick overview of some of the benefits.
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1. Higher Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR)
Weight training helps to increase the BMR of an individual by increasing muscle mass. Muscles require more calories than fat. As such, your daily basal metabolic rate increases. For the same calorie intake, your calorie in vs calorie out balance shifts in favor of fat loss. This helps to speed up weight loss.
2. Toned and compact body
Muscle is more compact than fat. Thus, a person with more muscle mass will have a toned body. For example, let’s compare Mary and Jane who both weigh 60kg. Mary has 20% body fat and Jane has 30% body fat. Visually, they will look very different. Mary will have a slimmer waist and a more toned body as compared to Jane.
3. Better Health
Weight loss has long been associated with reduced risks of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. In fact, weight training is part of the recommended exercises for lifestyle changes in persons with pre diabetes or borderline hypertension.
4. Increased Insulin Sensitivity
An increase in muscle mass increases insulin sensitivity. Muscle needs more energy to survive and contains more mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy producing powerhouse for the cells. Glucose uptake receptors are concentrated in the muscles for this reason. Therefore, an increase in muscle mass corresponds with an increased insulin sensitivity. This is especially important for women with metabolic syndrome.
5. Decreased risk of osteoporosis
Women have a higher risk of osteoporosis compared to men. Osteoporosis contributes significantly to femur fractures and hip fractures in women as a result of a minor fall. Frequently, many complications arise out of these fractures and some of these women never walk again. Weight training makes the bones stronger and reduces the incidence of osteoporosis. The stress exerted on the bones during weight training forces the bone to strengthen itself.
6. Increased stability
Increased muscle mass gives a person increased stability. As we grow older, we tend to lose muscle mass from disuse. Weight resistance training helps to preserve the muscle mass and lends stability to our bearing. This reduces the incidence of falling, thus reducing fractures and other injuries.
7. Increased Strength
As women, we tend toward multitasking quite a bit. Answering the phone while shopping and carrying a child on one hip can be a normal occurrence. The increased strength from weight resistance training can be a boon in these situations.
8. More Energetic
Exercise generally makes a person feel more energetic. The general feeling of well being is well appreciated by women who exercise regularly.
This list is by no means complete. These are just some of the reasons why we women should start weight training. Start with at least once a week first and you will quickly begin to appreciate the benefits for yourself.