Mahalo Moves

, , , ,

Weight Training for Women. Why Start?

Weight Training Women

Weight training used to be something that only men did. But, and this is a very big BUT. Times have changed. Women have discovered the weights ánd science shows more and more how important it is that women lift weights.

7 Very Good Reasons For Women to Start Weight Training Tomorrow

Or Maybe Today?

Weights for women

  1. It keeps your bones healthy

Bone cells are living cells that constantly grow, change, and also die. The good news is that the body is also building new bone cells in the same time. However, as we age, we lose bone tissue faster than we can grow it. That puts us at risk of breaking bones, injuring ourselves, osteoporosis, a high risk of fractures, and our body getting weaker in our daily life activities. That’s where strength training comes in. Various longitudinal studies show that strength training not only contributes to stronger muscles, but it can make a huge difference for the strength of your bones too, as it contributes to bone density. This is especially important for those sites that are most likely to fracture like wrists, hips, and the spine. By putting stress on bones, we stimulate our body to build more bone tissue, and combat the loss of bone cells. The results of numerous studies show that the effects are greater if done with more weight and for a longer duration of time, but lighter weights are great to start building strength (and important in preventing that you get injured when lifting too heavy too quickly!), so you can add more weight when you are (1) more comfortable, and (2) physically ready to do so. Aerobic, body weight bearing training, such as yoga, walking, and running, does also stimulate the increase of bone density, but strength training is more effective. Yet another reason to not stay glued to the treadmill but instead heading over to the iron!

Weight Training Women

  1. You don’t lose your well-deserved muscles

Just like bone tissue, we lose muscle mass as we age. Sad, but it’s a natural process everyone has to face. Lifestyle does make a big difference here though: people who are active lose (way!) less muscle than people who live a very inactive life. Muscle mass declines at a rate between 3% and 8% for every decade of life since the age of 30. Which means a loss of about 0.2 kg of muscle mass per year. This loss is increased to 5 to 10% or about 0.4 kg per year after each decade of life of 50 years! But there’s light at the horizon. By doing resistance training, we stimulate our muscles to stay strong, maybe even stronger than you have ever been before, despite your age. Because muscle fiber thickens ánd multiplies when putting stress on muscles, lifting weights puts exactly the stress on muscles that it needs to be stimulated to grow. Even at an older age, muscles are able to hypertrophy – aka increase in muscle size and mass. Also, resistance training contributes to neuronal adaptation, the adaptation of our nerve cells, and the connection between our brain and our body. A better neuronal adaptation means that we’re able to use our muscles more effectively and efficiently, and our movement capacities make a great contribution to our daily life activities – win-win.

Women Weight Training

  1. It helps to NOT getting injured

By improving the strength of your muscle and bones you are making your whole body stronger. It contributes to your mind-body awareness, which makes you able to feel way better what kind of posture and movements are healthy and what is harmful for your body, so you can protect yourself from injury. Also, your posture tends to improve, as you are deliberately working on good posture. Very important, as bad posture is the cause of much discomfort in terms of chronically contracted muscle (sore office neck, anyone?), and can even result in a chronically bad posture, as your muscles as well as the bones adapt to how they are being used. Hunchback postures are no fairytale, unfortunately, and basically a chronic injury. What also improves as a result of strength training is your balance, which is incredibly important to keep you away from falling, and again: injuries.

  1. It improves your body composition

Did you think that you cannot impact your body composition – aka your ratio of fat, muscle, and bone in human bodies? Think again. Weight only shows your total weight. It does not measure the ratio of the aforementioned aspects. Which is highly important. The more muscle you have, the more defined your body will look. When this amount of muscle is fat, you look completely different, trust me. This does not mean that building muscle makes you look bulky, as that is what some women are afraid of when starting to train with weights. It simply means that your body will start to look more toned, just what you want, right? We would have to work very very (very) hard to look bulky, so no need to worry about that. Don’t focus too much on weight loss, just build muscle, you won’t regret it.

Weight Training for Women

  1. Feel happier and healthier!

We all know it, we feel it (afterwards), but when we are low in energy, we can hardly believe it: exercise helps us to feel more positive, confident, happy, and energetic. Science backs us here unanimously in: strength training and exercise in general make a huge difference for mood, psychological health, and socially. We awaken many happy hormones that make us feel excited, happy and confident. We sleep better – which also improves our mood, of course, and we feel more rested after sleeping. Research results show increased feelings of vigor, self-concept and self-efficacy, and resistance training can even beat feelings of anxiety and depression – by figure of speaking and literally if you like boxing. Many short and long-term studies support these results; a 10-week study showed that 80% of the formerly diagnosed respondents with depression, were no longer clinically depressed after the study – now that’s a wauw.

  1. Boost your metabolism

How much energy do you burn per day, and would you like to burn more? I guess we all would! Weight training is one of the easiest ways to do that. Muscle’s metabolism is a very significant part of the total basal metabolism, which means that you will burn more calories while ‘doing nothing’ if you have more muscle tissue. Also, weight lifting stimulates protein synthesis and this in its turn costs more energy. While the body rests and restores after a weight training you might feel a bit extra tired, but the nice thing is that your body is using a bit more energy than before your training, building itself back up and making the tissues stronger. Another thing that boosts your metabolism is the so-called after-burn – or in research language called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). It means that the body uses more oxygen and energy to restore itself after a workout. This is not a joke. Research shows that, EPOC can cause the body to burn more energy than ‘normal’ for more than 16 hours. An important sidenote here, however, is that you have to train very intensely to stretch this higher metabolic rate to more than 16 hours.

Weight Training Women

  1. Reduce risk of numeral chronic diseases and keep yourself alive

Do you want to stay alive? Then do strength training! Not only is muscle mass a powerful predictor of mortality at a higher age, research shows that it reduces the risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes. As strength training lowers blood glucose and increases insulin sensitivity, countering insulin resistance – which is what happens in diabetes patients, the body is way better in controlling blood sugar levels. Additionally, one study with a sample of over 16.000 respondents showed a significant reduction in blood pressure as a consequence of applying a 20-minute strength training session, 2-3 times a week for a period of 10 week. It also contributes to better cholesterol parameters; triglycerides and it promotes overall cardiovascular health – effects that are likely even more positive when strength training is combined with aerobic cardiovascular training.

So what are you waiting for?

Check out the Mahalo Moves Packages and start strength training asap.

Sources

  1. Harvard Health. (2021, October 13). Strength training builds more than muscles. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/strength-training-builds-more-than-muscles#:~:text=Activities%20that%20put%20stress%20on,result%20is%20stronger%2C%20denser%20bones
  2. Häkkinen, A., Pakarinen, A., Hannonen, P., Kautiainen, H., Nyman, K., Kraemer, W. J., & Häkkinen, K. (2005). Effects of prolonged combined strength and endurance training on physical fitness, body composition and serum hormones in women with rheumatoid arthritis and in healthy controls. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 23(4), 505–512.
  3. Losnegard, T., Mikkelsen, K., Rønnestad, B. R., Hallén, J., Rud, B., & Raastad, T. (2011). The effect of heavy strength training on muscle mass and physical performance in elite cross country skiers. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 21(3), 389–401. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01074.x
  4. Schuenke, M. D., Mikat, R. P., & McBride, J. M. (2002). Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: implications for body mass management. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 86(5), 411–417. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-001-0568-y
  5. Seguin, R. A., & Nelson, M. E. (2003). The benefits of strength training for older adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 25(3), 141–149. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0749-3797(03)00177-6
  6. Stojanović, M., Drid, P., Madić, D., & Ostojić, S. (2018, January 10). Benefits of Strength Training for Elderly Women // Dobrobiti treninga snage za žene treće životne dobi. Sportske Nauke I Zdravlje; Paneuropean University Apeiron. https://doi.org/10.7251/ssh1702077s

 

 

Share this post

Related Articles