Benefits of Strength Training

For many women, the mention of weight lifting conjures up images of bulging arms, legs and chests. If you are thinking about a program to improve your muscle tone, your results don't have to be as dramatic as female body builders on television. You can enjoy the benefits of strength training and still look feminine.

Muscle development

You don't have to worry about exploding muscles, because women lack the testosterone required for muscle hypertrophy. Body builders work out for hours every day to develop and sculpt their bodies. Instead, through a strength-training program with light weights, you will achieve attractive, toned limbs.

Build physical strength

If you've ever struggled to open a glass jar or been out of breath carrying a bucket of water or a basket of laundry, you will definitely benefit from strength training. When your muscles learn how to respond to weights, daily chores will be easier to deal with. You will be able to walk farther without feeling tired or getting cramps after you develop your leg muscles.

Fat burning

There is more good news if you want to lose a few pounds. Weight lifting is an excellent way to burn fat. Studies have shown that for every two pounds of muscle gained through strength training, three and a half pounds of fat are lost. Not only that, while building muscle, you will burn more calories by revving up your metabolism.

Reduce the risk of injury

If you're suffering from back pain, working out with light weights has been proven to be 80 percent effective to strengthen lower-back muscles. Strength training has also been linked to stronger joints and ligaments, which reduces the risk of osteoarthritis. As an added benefit, you will experience improved balance and flexibility.

Better performance

Women who play sports will enjoy enhanced athletic performance. Regular strength training helps improve a tennis serve, increases the distance on a golf ball drive and boosts your power when delivering a bowling ball. No matter what sport you play, building stronger muscles also reduces the risk of injury.

Recovery and rehabilitation

Prevention is always better than trying to cure a problem, but accidents do happen. Shoulders, wrists, knees and ankles are known to get weaker as you age. When you follow a regular strength-training program, your recovery time after an injury will be shorter if your muscles and joints are strong.

Improve your health

Strength training can help treat many ailments associated with aging and improve your mood and outlook.

  • Osteoporosis: Strength training significantly improves bone mineral density in a relatively short period of time. Working with weights, combined with a calcium-rich diet, can hold osteoporosis at bay.
  • Heart disease: Weight lifting will also strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system and can lower your blood pressure. Regular exercise will lower LDL (bad cholesterol) while improving HDL (good cholesterol).
  • Diabetes: Older women are often at risk for diabetes, not only because of sugar intake or obesity, but also because of the change in the way the body processes sugar. Strength training can improve diabetic symptoms in as little as four months through better utilization of glucose.
  • Depression: If you're prone to feeling depressed occasionally, regular workouts with a set of light weights can mean the difference between feeling blue and feeling happy. Studies have shown that women who engage in weight lifting feel more capable and confident.

If nothing else, strength training that develops muscles will prevent sagging body parts and flabby skin. As you look better, you will feel better. Instead of covering up, you can show off your well-toned arms and legs.

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