Benefits of Strength Training
There was a day when only men lifted weights, and even then weight lifting was primarily the realm of
competitive bodybuilders. But the times are certainly a changin' as more and more women are introduced to the
benefits of strength training … and guess what … they like it!
These days, no fitness plan is complete unless it contains both a health low-fat diet, a few rounds of cardio each
week, and a comprehensive strength training program.
But don't take our word for it - listed below are a few of the benefits that every woman can enjoy as soon as
she picks up a set of dumbbells or learns how to use a few basic weight training machines at the gym.
Increased Strength Having trouble lifting that case of bottled water into your grocery cart?
That, and other routine physical tasks will become much easier once you build bit of extra muscle. Your body will
also be less prone to injury with increased muscle strength. But don't fool yourself into thinking that your cardio
routine is building muscle - aerobic activity burns calories, but it takes intense resistance to build muscle
fiber. If your fitness plan consists of running 7 days a week, you can do your body a favor and trade 3 of those
workouts each week for a 30-minute strength training session.
Higher Metabolism It is a scientific fact that it takes more calories to sustain one pound
muscle than one pound of fat. By replacing fat with muscle, you are automatically forcing your body to burn more
calories each day, without adding more exercise to your schedule. And if you're burning more calories than you're
taking in, guess what fuels the energy deficit? Yep, that's right … stored fat! So each time you complete a bicep
curl or perform one more leg squat, just know that you have turned up the flame in your fat burning furnace. Feels
good doesn't it?
Better Appearance After Weight Loss If you have ever looked at somebody who has lost weight
and thought to yourself "Hmm, they looked better before they lost weight" … you are probably looking at somebody
who used a calorie-restricted diet to lose weight, but neglected to do any resistance training along the way. The
result is loose sagging skin and an overall "soft" appearance. When the fat is gone, something needs to fill the
skin, especially in more mature dieters whose skin doesn't have the same elasticity as it once did. What better to
fill the void than nice smooth firm muscle!
Target Problem Areas While cardio is necessary to burn overall fat, it is possible to use
weight training to improve the appearance of certain areas of the body. You can visibly raise and firm your
buttocks, flatten your stomach and define your 6-pack abs, and firm and tone your shoulders and the backs of your
Increased Bone Density Women, in particular, need to be aware of the dangers of osteoporosis,
a health condition that leads to the deterioration of bone mass and increases the possibility of bone fractures.
The American College of Sports Medicine encourages women to reduce their chances of developing osteoporosis by
participating in a regular weight training program.
Improved Posture Besides contributing to back pain, poor posture simply is not very
attractive. Women who use strength training to tone the muscles in their shoulder blades, lower back and abdominal
region can significantly improve their posture.
The best strength training routines will target the large muscle groups in the lower body one day, and the muscles
in the upper body the next day. It's best to each muscle group rest 48 hours before putting it back to work, but
abdominal and core exercises can be done every day.
So how do you start your new weight training program? You can always engage the services of a personal trainer to
get you started; after a few sessions you'll probably be ready to set your own schedule and choose your own
weights. If you enjoy group exercise, you'll likely find that option at your local gym, as well. There are a number
of different group exercise classes that incorporate weight training into the class, either through the use of
lightweight dumbbells or by using elastic resistance bands and balls.
Of course, if you prefer to work out at home, there are numerous strength training programs on DVD. Just pick one that looks interesting and get started.
If you're really serious about building some serious muscle .. check out the popular P90X home fitness workout. You'll be reaping the benefits of strength
training in as little as two weeks.
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