I absolutely believe in strength training. Through my evolution of love and then inability to run, I discovered yoga and strength training, and I am eternally grateful for it.
The “high” strength training gives you is amazing. It’s similar to a runner’s high, but it lasts for days – at least for me. Feeling my muscles working – feeling strong – just puts me in a better mood!
FitSugar recently had a nice article about 7 reasons that strength training is important. There are hundreds of reasons, but these 7 “generic” reasons are pretty good as well.
I know many fit women struggle to balance their passion for running, or yoga, or zumba, with a solid strength training plan – but it is so important!
And no – you won’t get big and bulky and manly. I promise. But you might run faster/further, or you might zumba longer…or you might even find yourself able to finally bend yourself into that complicated yoga pose.
Here’s a few reasons why it’s important:
It can help you lose inches
Working hard at losing weight and then your efforts just….stop? Or you’ve lost weight, but still find yourself a bit…flabby? Weight Lifting Can Help! (Yes, I was in advertising in a past life. Thanks for asking.) Reducing your overall body fat with muscle is wonderful for your vitals, as well!
Strengthens your bones
Bone density should be a concern to all women – even if osteoporosis doesn’t run in your family! As we age, our bone density decreases, which increases the chances for broken bones as we age. BUT – weight lifting can increase bone density! Pump that iron, ladies!
Weight Lifting Improves Your Mood
Weight lifting has been studied and appears to reduce a person’s risk of depression, and improves mood overall. In fact, a study at Harvard showed 10 weeks of strength training provided relief to patients on par with standard counseling.
The Caloric After Burn
One of the benefits that you hear most about weight lifting/strength training is the “after burn” – the calories your body expends after strength training. Fitsugar estimates that after a 60 minute cardio session, the average woman burns another 100 calories over a 24 hour period of time. Now, that doesn’t sound like much. But if you strength train 3 times a week – that’s 300 calories. Not bad, eh?
Muscle Mass Fights Diabetes
Muscle mass can more evenly and quickly distribute blood sugars, which makes it a great fighter in the war against Type 2 diabetes.
More Bang For Your Buck
Repeat after me: You will not look like a man if you lift weights.
Say it again.
One more time.
Okay, got it? Good.
Lifting a heavier weight for less repetitions (this is where you put down the 5 lb dumbbell you’ve been lifting for 2 sets of 100) allows you to burn more calories – especially after you are done lifting altogether!
That’s definitely more bang for your buck!
Makes You Stronger!
This is obvious – but who doesn’t want to be able to lift their grocery bags without looking like a fool? Or get that pickle jar open? Or impress your husband by helping him move furniture? It’s awesome to be strong! It’s a great feeling of empowerment! And don’t forget – the stronger you are in general, the more you can put into your workouts, and the less you are likely to be injured! Being strong is fabulous!
What are some other reasons you enjoy strength training?
Or…if you don’t strength train, what keeps you from it?