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The Remarkable Benefits of Strength Training for Women

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 Truths About Strength Training

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?

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

This is by far the best benefit of strength training.

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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: 123RF via 123rf.com

Reference

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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.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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