Why Women Should Lift Weights
Strength training increases women’s vitality and anti-aging goals by building bones and muscles, by helping lose weight faster and by fortifying the immune system to keep away illnesses. Weight training can take the form of lifting barbells, using a resistance band, using exercise machines like Nautilus or even working with your own body weight. Weight lifting is one of the three parts of a good exercise plan – stretching, aerobics and strength training.
Get Natural Anti-Aging Benefits with Resistance Training
Osteoporosis is a result of weakened bones as people age. The term for weakened muscles as one grows older is sarcopenia. When you cut calories to lose weight without strength training, your muscles will atrophy – become weak and flabby – just the opposite of the vigorous look women want. In addition, sarcopenia can contribute to poor balance and falls.
Lifting weights is anti-aging by developing a toned, younger-looking body that fits better into jeans. You will notice that lifting children or a sack of groceries seems easier as you build strength. Eventually, stronger muscles can even facilitate aerobic activities like jogging or tennis that you could not do before.
Lose Weight Faster with Strength Training
Michael Murray, naturopathic physician, has found through his research that building muscles with strength training, especially for women over 50, more effectively burns calories and enables one – while reducing calories – to lose weight faster. He notes that men, with more muscle mass, have an easier time of losing weight, even without reducing calories. Lifting weights by women drives weight loss.
Reported in 2006, a 2-year study at the University of Pennsylvania of overweight women ages 24 to 44, found that those who lifted weights two times a week for close to 60 minutes lost about 4% of their body fat. In this study, the women were told not to modify their calories, so the women did gain 7% belly fat, but that compares to the controls – the women who only received exercise advice – who gained 21% belly fat.
Fortify the Immune System While Lifting Weights
Barry Sears, Ph.D., of the Zone Diet fame, explains that immune cells that fight infections and keep you healthy need primarily an amino acid called glutamine that is stored in the muscles. Your body uses the hormone cortisol to break down the glutamine so it can be used by the immune system. However, if weak muscles do not support much glutamine, your immune system will suffer too and you will get sick more often.
Set Up Strength Training
Two to three times a week for 30 to 60 minutes, is the optimal time for strength training. Besides gaining strong bones and muscles, aiding weight loss and enhancing the immune system, lifting weights boosts mood, energy and self-esteem. Here is an introduction to weight lifting exercises.
This is an educational article. Always get a physician’s advice before beginning any exercise program.