As women, it can be difficult to find effective ways to lose weight. It gets to a point where all the dieting, aerobic exercises, and circuits just don’t seem to be doing the trick. There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling like you put in the work, yet don’t get the results you desire.
If this sounds like you, it may be time to consider implementing regular strength training into your workout routine. Resistance training is the tried-and-true workout that burns calories, builds muscle, and sheds fat all at once—and is particularly beneficial for ladies! Check out these five benefits of strength training for women.
Did you know that implementing regular strength training into your routine is one of the quickest ways to lose fat? Women, on average, store about 10% more body fat than men. Considering the fact that women were made to birth babies, this makes sense! However, it can be frustrating for women to find effective ways to lower their body fat index.
The answer? Strength training.
The simple truth is that muscle mass burns fat! The more time you take to develop that muscle, the quicker you’ll see the fat shedding off your body. And, the beautiful thing about muscle is that there’s no “spot treatment” necessary. If you want to lose fat in your arms, you don’t have to do one thousand bicep curls. Instead, you should build muscle all over your body, including legs, butt, core, arms, and upper body. The more muscle mass you have, the more fat it will burn—regardless of where that fat is stored.
There is a common misconception that women who strength train will become bulky. However, this is a complete myth! In fact, women are actually more likely to lose inches as a result of strength training, not gain them.
Strength training not only sheds inches where you don’t want them; it also allows you to build in places where you do. Genetics aren’t the only factor in your body’s appearance—you can control your appearance through regular resistance training! It can help you slim down, tone up, and create curves in places that you’ve never had curves before!
Strength training also helps you burn more calories and speed up your metabolism, which means you lose more weight. Your metabolism is the rate at which your body processes food for energy. When you strength train, your metabolism goes through the roof! In fact, a study found that regular strength training can increase your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) by about 5%. This means your body burns more calories throughout the day – even while you’re not working out. The higher your RMR, the faster you burn fat, and the quicker you lose weight.
In addition to strength training and a nutritious diet, drinking green tea and ice water every day are also great for boosting your metabolism throughout the day—making way for optimal fat loss.
Regular strength training produces many physical results that are appealing, but it also plays a large role in improving overall health. A study found that resistance training, in particular, is the best way to increases bone density, reducing risks of osteoporosis.
Thin, postmenopausal women have the highest risk of developing osteoporosis, so it’s important to integrate strength training into workout programs. In addition, regular intake of calcium, vitamin D, and other micronutrients play a vital role in building up and protecting your bones.
Resistance training also plays a role in fighting against various heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.
According to US News Health, strength training plays a huge role in improving heart health and decreasing risk of heart disease. Dr. Timothy Miller, a sports medicine physician at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says, “Strength training often gets overlooked for its importance in improving cardiovascular health, but it can be a valuable addition in reducing the risk of heart disease.” This is due to the lowered blood pressure, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, better sleep, and lessened fat around the heart that are results of regular strength training.
The American Heart Association recommends resistance training at least twice a week to strengthen your heart and fight against various heart-related health issues. They even recommend moderate strength training after a heart attack to protect your heart from future risk. However, be sure to consult your doctor before doing so.
Strength training for women has so many benefits that are officially not just for the boys anymore! Women who practice regular resistance training can attest to the amazing benefits that accompany it—mind, body, and overall health!
If you’re feeling ready and excited to take on the challenge, here’s a 4-week weight training plan for women to get you started! Looking for more of a challenge? This 12-week plan will have you looking and feeling the best you have in years!
With two locations in Lafayette, Indiana, the Lafayette Family YMCA is a community committed to healthy living and social responsibility. For more fitness tips and to stay up to date about YMCA events, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or visit our website.