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Last Updated on December 15, 2020

The Remarkable Benefits of Strength Training for Women

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The Remarkable Benefits of Strength Training for Women

Are you curious about lifting weights but not sure why you should get started?

You’re in the right place!

I’ll be revealing the mind and body benefits of lifting weights and tell you why it will literally transform your life.

Discover the secret of strength training for women, and why you should start today.

8 Benefits of Strength Training

Let’s dive right into the remarkable benefits of strength training for women:

You’ll Boost Your Social Capital

We all could use more friends! Although, many times our insecurity about our bodies and our appearances can prevent us from presenting our best selves in the world.

This lack of confidence we have about our identity can be enough to stop us from seeking new relationships both offline and online.

Lifting weights can and will positively change how you feel about yourself. You will experience a boost of self-confidence in many areas of your life such as your in career, in your personal relationships, and especially the relationship you have with yourself.

Confident people are linked with higher incomes, more friends, and–if you’re single–with having more desirable characteristics as a potential mate.

Increased self-confidence creates more opportunities to strengthen current relationships and attract additional relationships because you were assertive enough to seek them out.

New friends and contacts lead to richer life experiences and expanded opportunities in all areas of your life.

Weight training helps you put yourself out there more often and gives you the self-confidence to believe that people will value what you have to offer.

You’ll Love the Way You Look

If you’ve ever seen the before and after images on your Instagram or Facebook feed, then you know fitness inspiration pictures are all the rage these days.

The most interesting before and after photos are the ones where women weigh the same in both pictures but look totally different. Not only are they leaner, trimmer, and more toned but their weight hasn’t changed!

How is this possible?

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I have two words for you: lifting weights. It’s unfortunate that the #1 go-to method for women who want to lose weight is to do cardio in excess, especially when the scale has stopped moving and they have stopped seeing results.

Cardio and a proper diet will definitely help you to lose weight, but without a lifting routine you will lose muscle mass at the same time. This is why when most people stray off of stricter diets the weight just comes straight back.

Your baseline metabolism is determined by the amount of muscle you have.

When you have less muscle, due to repeated dieting and cardio, then your body cannot handle the extra calories consumed when you get off the diet. This results in fat storage and weight gain and a serious bust to your self esteem.

If you added strength training into your routine, you wouldn’t encounter the same problem because you’ve increased your overall metabolism through building muscle while simultaneously lowering your bodyfat. Not only will you have more muscle than when you first started, but you’ll notice when looking in the mirror that you also have more tone, shape, and firmness overall.

Strength training is the reason why women look leaner after their transformations but still weigh the same. A leaner, stronger body is the end result of lifting weights regularly.

You Can Focus on Becoming More

When it comes to being healthy we’re obsessed with the number on the scale and it dictates how we feel the rest of the day.

We become very conscious about our eating and picky about what we eat. We start classifying our foods as ‘bad’ versus ‘good’ which starts an unhealthy relationship with food. On top of this, the media conditions us that we must look a certain way and meet specific cultural body standards.

With weight training we ignore the scale.

Instead we focus on how much we can lift today, the number on the weights (rather than the scale) and set our sights on lifting more than we did last week.

Unknowingly we start becoming role models for women at the gym and other women in our lives by focusing on what really matters in our fitness journey: our health and our strength, not the number on the scale.

You’ll Experience Self-Love!

Lifting weights will positively change your identity of who you are in many ways.

When you didn’t see the scale change as fast as you would you like, you may have embraced the idea that you have a slow metabolism.

Perhaps you are the person who had every legitimate excuse under the sun on why you didn’t exercise today–with lack of time being the primary excuse. You felt that other people who are in shape just have more willpower than you do and possibly just blessed with good genetics.

But when you start lifting weights, how you describe who you are will start to shift.

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You become the person who says “I am someone who takes care of myself and I make sure to get my workouts in.” The idea that you should exercise everyday becomes I must exercise everyday.

You start identifying and implementing healthier habits such as eating more vegetables, getting 8 hours of sleep, and monitoring your stress levels.

You start walking down the street with a more confident posture. You feel more in control and carry yourself with more competence in every situation.

Ultimately, strength training will cause you to start holding yourself to higher standards. It will raise the bar in all areas of your life so that you become a better version of yourself.

You’ll Challenge Your Self-Imposed Limitations

One of the most gratifying outcomes from lifting weights is seeing how strong and capable you are. You may have not have tested yourself, or even thought it was possible to lift that much weight, but you are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for.

When you are strength training the challenge is between you and yourself.

How much effort did you bring to the gym floor last week, and how much are going to bring to the floor today?

Progress becomes very clear with strength training. It’s either a “yes” or a “no” on whether you lifted more this week than you did last week and whether you brought 100% of your effort.

You become surprised and pleased by how much you can lift when it’s something you really want.

We all need to get out of our way and break the self-imposed limitations we have for ourselves. You will become stronger and feel more empowered when you lift.

You’ll Build a Stronger You

Weight training builds stronger muscles and bones.

As females, we have a hormone called estrogen, which plays an important role in helping you maintain your bone density.

Starting at age 35 our bone mass starts decreasing, which leads to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis; this can go undetected until a bone fracture happens.

After menopause, bone loss starts to accelerate increasing the risk of weakened and brittle bones. During the first five to ten years of menopause women can lose up to 25 to 30% of bone density. [1]

If you’re in your early 20s to 30s, then regular weight lifting means you can help maintain your bone density after menopause.

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It’s much easier to maintain your current bone density than it is to build it once you’ve stopped producing estrogen, but it’s never too late to start.

Activities that include weight-bearing exercises are important for both bone health maintenance and improvement.

Although it is important to remain active throughout your life resistance training has a greater positive effect on bone density than other types of exercise. [2].

Having strong, dense bones to get you through your golden years is important for long-term health.

Stronger bones lowers your chance of having fractures, which means that you will be able to stay out of the nursing home or assisted living centers for as long as possible when you’re retired.

You’ll Grow Old Gracefully

Not only does weight lifting build stronger bones, but it helps you to grow old gracefully and live on your terms for as long as possible.

Growing old is an inevitable part of life, but we can choose whether we allow life to take its toll on us, or whether we will grow stronger physically and mentally each year.

Interested in anti-aging?

Of course you are. Strength training is one of the many ways to achieve this.

This type of exercise can transforms you into a younger looking person. It will preserve and build muscles that help your posture so you remain upright, dominate life’s tasks, and make everyday easier for yourself.

The harder you work inside the gym, the easier your life will be outside of it.

Having healthy muscles gives you the ability to get up and down the stairs with ease. You are able to pick things up without hurting your back, and get up easily if you fall. If you need to pack up and move houses it’s not a problem because you have the strength and ability to do it.

Well-known palliative care nurse and author Bronnie Ware wrote several books analyzing the top regrets of dying patients. She concluded that “health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”

Lifting weights will give you the strength and ability to take care of yourself for decades to come.

When you have this freedom of health, you instantly have a better quality of life.

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You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

This is by far the best benefit of strength training.

Eating is one of the many pleasures of life and judging by the waistline of Americans, most will agree. The average person unknowingly gains about 3-5 pounds every year with majority of that weight gain happening around the holidays.

As we get older, we have the tendency to become more sedentary. This is why weight gain accelerates in our middle age even though our diets haven’t changed much. Inactivity compounded by age-related muscle loss causes us to naturally put on weight.

The good news is that all of this is completely preventable.

What if you can eat more, but still stay slim?

With strength training, you can. In fact, lifting weights helps you to maintain your current lean muscle mass and build more as well.

Not only will you look better in your clothes but you’ll speed up your metabolism.This means that you will have leeway in your diet to eat a little bit more without any consequences to your waistline.

Start Lifting Today for a Better You Tomorrow

Are you pumped to start lifting weights but you’re not sure where or how to get started?

There are lots of different options out there to help you get started, but when you’re looking for a plan keep in mind three things:

1. Find a plan that works for you now, not one that would work in your ideal situation or your ideal week.

If you only have 2 days a week you can dedicate consistently to workout, then find a plan that is a 2 day strength training program and start with that. You’ll only get frustrated if you cannot follow a plan exactly as you won’t get the results you’re looking for.

2. Schedule your workouts in your calendar and respect it.

Results come from consistency not from a perfect plan. If you don’t make time to strength train, it won’t happen and you won’t see any changes.

3. Focus on your form.

This is to ensure that you engage and activate the right muscles and also stay safe and injury free.

Lifting weights is about building the mind body connection. If you don’t feel your muscles working, then it’s not working. There are many YouTube videos and websites that will help you get your form right or hire an experienced trainer, the investment is well worth it.

Are you convinced yet that lifting weights can benefit your body in more ways than one? Get started today and reap the many rewards of strength training!

Featured photo credit: Gursimrat Ganda via unsplash.com

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Reference

More by this author

Candace Rhodes

Join Candace's course 7-Day Rapid Results teaches you everything you need to get started for a weightlifting lifestyle to be toned and strong.

Muscle Building Diet: How to Eat to Lose Fat and Build Muscle How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast The Remarkable Benefits of Strength Training for Women 20 Healthy Eating Recipes Even the Pickiest People Will Love Fermented Foods for Better Digestive Health and Mental Wellness

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Last Updated on October 4, 2021

5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

  • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
  • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
  • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
  • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
  • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
  • Total: 20 to 22 hours

Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

  • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
  • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
  • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

No equipment? No problem.

So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

  • Quadruped Rocks
  • Frog Stretch
  • Hip Prying
  • Scapula Push-ups
  • Hindu push-ups

Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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2. Yoga

Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

3. Calisthenics

Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

4. Aerobic Exercise

Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

Chipper 60

Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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“Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

Stress

We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

Stimulants

Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
[2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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