Why are some women afraid of weights? “I don’t want to get big,” “I just want to tone, I don’t want to build muscle,” “I don’t want to look like a man.” These are all things I have heard from women who have been interested in starting a personal training program.
Women typically don’t develop big muscles from strength training because compared to men, women have substantially less of the hormones that aid in muscle growth. This means we have to work hard just to grow and maintain the muscles we have. There are, however, a number of important benefits for women to pick up the weights and do some strength training.
Lean muscle burns fat: The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn during the day. Muscles need fuel to recover and repair. That fuel comes from calories provided by the foods you eat.
Muscle makes you stronger: Adding lean muscle to your body makes you stronger and more able to accomplish day to day activities with ease. This is especially important as we get older. As we age, our muscles lose size and if we don’t strengthen them, it can lead to weakness which in turn can cause instability and unnecessary accidents such as falling.
Good mental health: Adding an exercise program to your lifestyle that includes strength training, not only aids in physical health, it also provides great benefits for your mental health. As you exercise, your body releases hormones called endorphins that aid in boosting your mood and overall feeling of well-being.
Increased bone density: Numerous studies have shown that resistance training and load bearing aerobics increase bone density as we age. This is great news for people who are struggling with osteoporosis or osteopenia. Resistance training done in a safe manner can positively stress the bones and in return increase their density.
These are just a few of the many benefits of adding resistance training to your routine. So come on ladies, pick up those weights! Let’s get stronger, happier and spread that sunshine!!
*This article was also published in the Coastal Breeze on July 7, 2022.