Weight training for women

Ladies, contrary to popular belief, lifting weights will not turn women into a female Schwarzenegger! On the contrary, weight or strength training can be extremely beneficial for women in a variety of ways.

Most women steer clear of weight training, fearing they will end up looking like female hulks. Just so you know, weight training, also called resistance or strength training, is a boon for a woman, as it will only help her gain a strong, firm and well-sculpted body.

Benefits of weight training for women

Builds physical strength, sans a bulky physique:

Unlike men, women don’t gain a bulky physique from weight training, unless they are on some steroids or such. The key factor behind men gaining all that muscle is testosterone. Since women have very little of this significant male hormone, there is no fear of that. However, weight training helps in building strength in women. In fact, research suggests that women who lift weights can improve their strength to match that of a man.

Helps burn fat:

Weight training helps women accelerate fat loss. Studies show that women who lifted weights 2 to 3 times a week for 2 months are likely to lose 3.5 pounds of fat and gain nearly 2 pounds of lean muscle, increasing their resting metabolism – helping them burn calories all day long.

Which means — if you add muscle to your body, you will be able to eat more without gaining weight.

Reduces risk of osteoporosis:

Weight training increases bone mineral density. So that combined with adequate supply of calcium can be a potent defence against osteoporosis.

Lowers risk of injury:

Lifting weights will not only leave you with stronger muscles, but will also strengthen connective tissues and joints, thereby lowering risk of injury, back pain and even arthritis.

Protection against heart disease:

Weight training improves your heart health by lowering your bad cholesterol, while increasing your good cholesterol.

Decreases risk of diabetes:

Research shows that weight training raises glucose utilisation in the body, and will thus provide protection against diabetes.

Alleviates depression:

Exercise helps release endorphins, mood elevators; weight training specifically, according to a Harvard study; showed that it helped boost women’s confidence levels, acting as an effective fight against depression.

Helps fight breast cancer:

The prime risk factor for breast cancer is obesity. Studies suggest that physical activity provides protection against breast cancer. Therefore, starting up on an exercise routine combined with weight training can lower your risk of breast cancer. In fact, women diagnosed with breast cancer are being advised to start weight training, as some studies demonstrate it’s beneficial.

A boon during menopause:

During menopause, a woman experiences a dip in oestrogen, the prime female hormone — which can result in multiple health problems ranging from bone density loss to heart disease. Studies show that an exercise routine in general and weight training in particular, improves a woman’s health during menopause.

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