For years, women have been led to believe that lifting weights will make them more masculine and bulky. However, contrary to popular belief, strength training, commonly also known as weight training, helps women achieve their fitness and health goals. In fact, there are several benefits that women can experience by including any kind of strength training just twice a week – whether it is free weights, resistance bands or even bodyweight exercises.
According to studies, strength training enables women to develop muscles, which results in greater stamina, agility, and power to carry out any simple tasks or even improve their athletic performance.
Muscle development translates into an increase in metabolic rate, which helps burn calories not only during the workout but also after. This is because muscles require relatively more energy to sustain themselves when the body is at rest, hence, burning makes the body burn calories throughout the day.
Sleep plays a critical role in helping the body rest and repair itself. The rigours of strength training can help promote deeper and better quality of sleep.
Strength training helps in better regulation of blood sugar and blood pressure levels, as well as reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. In fact, according to studies, women who routinely included any type of strength training in their regime, experience a 30 percent reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D), while the risk of them developing cardiovascular disease decreased by 17 percent.
As women age, the risk of osteoporosis increases. Several studies suggest that strength training can help improve bone density over time, making them stronger by encouraging bone-forming cells to activate. This considerably reduces the chances of women developing age-related osteoporosis. Moreover, stronger bones and increased muscle mass can help build better functional strength.
Exercise in general releases endorphins, a hormone responsible for improving our mood. According to research, resistance training can reliably and robustly reduce anxiety and stress. Another benefit of strength training is that it can also boost your confidence as your body becomes more toned and fit.
Strength training is not only essential to achieve fitness goals but also to promote overall well-being. However, it is also important to note that one must train under the right guidance and follow the correct techniques, such as working out at a pace that is comfortable, focussing on form rather than the amount of weight being lifted and resting and recuperating for muscle repair and growth.