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7 Reasons Why Women Should Weight Train

November 1, 2013

Weight training is a type of strength training and conditioning regime that allows for the development of strength in various areas of the body and in the size of skeletal muscles. Weight training works by using dumbbells, weight stacks, weighted bars and similar devices to oppose force being generated by the muscles through certain types of movement.

Weight training is central to a large number of sports including basketball, rowing, weightlifting, shot put and more. It is also an efficient way to target specific areas of the body for development, which is commonly difficult or impossible with other types of exercise. Weight training is especially helpful for women due to a large number of benefits including healthy bones, increased weight loss, increased metabolism and more.

1. Weight Training Promotes Healthy Bones

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A consistent weight training routine has been proven to promote the overall density of bones in a woman’s body, which leads to much healthier and stronger bones over time. A significant increase in bone density also decreases the risk a woman faces from conditions like osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disorder of the bones that causes them to become thinner.

The bones lose their strength over time, which makes them significantly easier to break or fracture during everyday movements. The condition is much more common in women than it is in men as a result of hormone changes that occur, especially during menopause.

Additionally, leading a sedentary lifestyle is considered one of the leading risk factors of the condition. Regular weight training can alleviate many of these concerns in both the short and long terms. Women who have a diet that is low in calcium, are age 50 or older, are naturally thin and take medications like prednisone are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

In addition to increasing bone mineral density, weight lifting has also been proven to maintain bone mass in women. The bone related benefits of these activities are even present in women who have gone through menopause, so long as a consistent routine was maintained over time.

2. Weight Training Leads to Increased Weight Loss

If you’re already trying to lose weight, increased weight training can help you burn a significantly larger number of calories per day.

Research has indicated that a person burns 35 to 55 more calories per day for every additional pound of muscle they gain.

If you gain more muscles through a consistent and intense weight training routine, the inherent benefits will carry over into other forms of exercise and allow you to lose more weight while running, doing yoga and more.

Pushing yourself as hard as possible during weight training also yields immediate weight loss benefits.

A study originally appearing in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” revealed that women who lifted larger amounts of weight for fewer reps burned double the calories during a single two hour period as women who lifted lighter weights with higher amounts of reps.

Additionally, adding larger amounts of weight to a an existing cardio routine will increase a phenomenon known as “after burn,” which is when your body continues to burn through calories even after you’ve stopped working out.

A person can continue to burn calories for hours after a workout routine has stopped if it was performed properly. Weight training has also been shown to help a woman lose body fat, instead of burning muscle at the same time like certain types of cardio have been known to do.

3. Weight Training Makes it Easier to Tone Your Arms

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One of the worries women have with regards to weight training is that they will look too bulky or muscular.

The reality of the situation is that, while weight training will allow a woman to start seeing immediate benefits with regards to healthier and stronger bones, they typically won’t gain a significant amount of size during weight training due to the presence of around 30 times fewer hormones like testosterone that cause hypertrophy.

Instead of bulking up, women are much more likely to tone their arms and slim them down than men who were doing comparable routines for their body types. Women have a much harder time building muscle and bulking up in general than men.

For women who want to bulk up and build large muscles, CrossFit and other intense physical activities are considered to be much more viable alternatives than traditional weight training. Muscle toning like the kinds achieved by weight training leads to a reduction of body fat and overall body weight. These come with benefits including an improved heart health, stronger joints and a much stronger skeletal system.

Increased energy and flexibility are also benefits in women of toned muscles, which are easily achievable through consistent and properly executed weight training.

4. You Will See an Increase in Self Confidence

As a woman, it is easy to underestimate the amount of strength you really have. Once you start focusing on weight training and performing activities like squats, deadlifts and pushups, however, you will quickly become aware of your strength levels.

You will be able to watch them increase over time and get a true sense of how impressive your body is. Gradually getting stronger and being able to push yourself longer and harder will give you an increase in self-confidence as you find out exactly what you’re made of.

The confidence boost can also feed back into your exercise routine and make it become more efficient. As you become aware of your true abilities, you will be more likely to push yourself harder and longer when you hit the gym.

As a result, you will have even more strength increases and even bigger boosts of self-confidence. Weight training is also an efficient way for women to build and sculpt the bodies they really want.

If you are trying to work towards a body that is strong and lean, cardio is the last type of exercise you want to do. While cardio is efficient for burning calories, it does not have the muscle building benefits inherent in weight training. Lifting weights like kettle bells, dumbbells and barbells will help you build more defined curves and get physically stronger in the process.

5. You Will Increase Your Metabolism

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The chemical transformations that take place in a person’s body on a daily basis are referred to as the metabolism. The term refers to not just how long it takes a person’s body to break down and process food but how those changes actually occur.

The metabolism is made of two parts: the catabolism and the anabolism. The catabolism refers to the process of breaking down food for the harvesting of energy.

The anabolism then uses that energy to create proteins and nucleic acids. The faster and more efficient these two processes are able to perform, the healthier and thinner a person will be. Women naturally lose muscle mass as they age, which causes the metabolism to slow down dramatically.

As a result, women in their early 30s often see increases in regular weight gain. Weight training is an efficient way to boost the metabolism and help the body burn fat even after a workout has been completed. Just a few hours of weight training per week can lead to many hours of additional calorie and fat burning, even during periods of sedentary activity.

6. You’ll Reduce the Risks of Certain Diseases

In addition to osteoporosis, weight training is also an efficient way for women to reduce the risks of certain diseases. Two of the main conditions that weight training helps alleviate include type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance or deficiency in addition to a higher than normal blood glucose level.

Obesity is thought to be one of the condition’s primary causes. Heart disease is a general term used in reference to any condition that negatively affects the cardiovascular system and can include brain diseases, kidney disease, hypertension and cardiac disease.

The risk of these conditions is lessoned through an increase in muscle which helps the body remove triglycerides and glucose from the blood stream. Women should be especially proactive with regards to weight training of osteoporosis, heart disease or type 2 diabetes run in their family.

Exercising in general has proven to be an excellent way to improve the body and reduce the risks of diseases, no matter how much or how little you do. Studies have shown that walking for as little as 15 minutes a day helps the heart dramatically. Adding basic exercises into your existing weight training regime is an effective way to cover all your bases.

7. Weight Training is One of the Most Versatile Ways to Work Out

When people think about weight training, they often call to mind images of gyms filled with expensive equipment and costly monthly service fees. In reality, weight training is by far one of the most versatile ways for a person to exercise. It can be done from nearly anywhere so long as you bring with you the required equipment.

Weight training doesn’t require a lot of space, which makes it ideal for women to do in the office or in between classes. If you don’t have weights like kettle bells, you can accomplish the same goals using techniques like pushups, squats, pull-ups and more. It also isn’t weather dependent and can be done indoors and outdoors with equal efficiency.

Many exercises don’t require any special equipment, or even equipment of any kind. You’ll see immediate benefits with regards to weight training using techniques like the pushup. Additionally, you can use a chair to do repetitions of dips whenever you have a few moments to start working out areas of your body like your upper arms.

You can also do standing pushups using a table, desk or other medium-height object in your home to mix things up and add a little variety into your routine.

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