When most women think about getting in shape, the typical image that comes to mind is running – either jogging outside or perhaps on a home treadmill. Other forms of cardio-vascular exercise may be commonly thought of as well – exercise bikes, elliptical cross trainers, group classes, and more.
These types of workouts are excellent for increasing endurance and strengthening heart muscles, but they ignore many of the most sought after benefits related to what most women would consider as being “in shape”.
Rarely does the typical woman consider strength training as a key component of the fitness process. Let’s look at the main reasons why that outlook should be reconsidered.
- Improved Weight Loss
For most women, this is their #1 fitness goal. I hope you’re sitting down, because here’s the big surprise – Lifting weights is MORE effective in fat burning and weight loss than cardio-vascular exercise! During the time you lift weights, you will burn as many or MORE calories than you would in the same amount of time doing cardio. There is a myriad of independently reviewed studies that prove this. And as a bonus, when you build lean muscle, you add a fat burning furnace to your metabolism. Each pound of added muscle burns an extra 50 calories per day through your resting metabolic rate.
- Look Better
If weight loss is fitness goal #1, then this is likely 1A. A pound of muscle is far more dense (meaning it takes up less space) than a pound of fat. If you can replace 5 pounds of fat with 5 pounds of muscle, you will absolutely lose inches. And most women would consider that having a body with toned arms and legs is more attractive than one at the same weight, but soft.
- Enhance Mood and Reduce Stress
Lifting weights releases endorphins, the brain chemicals that give you an enhanced feeling of well-being and confidence, resulting in an improved mood and more ability to handle daily stressors.
- Gain Strength Without Bulking
You may be thinking: “OK, I like the idea of being strong, but I certainly don’t want to look heavily muscled.” Good news! Women’s bodies cannot naturally get that “body builder” look. Men who lift, bulk up because their hormones are different – on average, their testosterone levels are at least 10 times higher than that in women. Look at almost any female athlete in peak shape – track stars, tennis players, etc. They are strong and still very feminine.
- Improve Performance
You are probably not a pro tennis player who needs to be in peak shape. But you just MIGHT want to serve a tennis ball a little bit harder. Or pick up your child effortlessly. Strength training will make any activity requiring muscles (i.e. ALL activities) much easier.
- Reduce the Risk of Injury, Back Pain and Arthritis
Adding strength to any muscle groups will also stabilize the surrounding joints, increase your stamina for repetitive tasks, and (very importantly) increase your bone density – a huge advantage for women.
- Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes and Illness
The added benefit of strength training is an improvement in overall health. Adding muscle, as mentioned above, increases your metabolism, which regulates blood sugar and helps prevent diabetes. And lifting weights helps your body burn bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol – significantly lowering your chances of heart disease, (the #1 killer of women, according to the Mayo Clinic). And here’s an especially important benefit for these trying times – a strong metabolism is crucial in helping your body fight off illness.
Look better, feel better, be healthier – have we piqued your interest about strength training? Call or stop by any of our stores, and a certified Premier Fitness Source professional can recommend options ranging from a minimal investment in a couple of stretch cords to a complete home gym which includes the latest technology in home exercise. We will listen to your needs, work within your budget and help you find the solution that lets you reap the rewards of the 7 benefits described above. You can also shop online at PremierFitnessSource.com. We offer a wide range of strength training exercise equipment that can help you achieve your fitness goals.
Stay strong and healthy!