- Increase Metabolism, Eat more calories
Yes, that’s right! The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you can eat a day. One pound of lean muscle can burn up to 50 calories/ day (without exercise!) vs. the 2 calories per pound/day for fat. So, which would you rather have more of on your body?
- Look leaner
Some women get fixated on the number on the scale. Don’t feel bad, it’s not your fault! We were raised to believe that scale was the final judge on whether we were healthy, fit, and basically at an acceptable size. Even to this day there are weight loss clinics that only reward you for being a certain number on the scale. Being thin does not always mean that you look good. If you take 2 women who wear the same size, one has 22% body fat and the other has 28% body fat. Would rather look like the women 22% body fat person with a sculpted body but weighs more or the 28% body fat person who still looks flabby?
- To Prevent Osteopenia
Osteopenia is the first indication that your bones are losing density. This typically happens in our older women population, but some women as young as 20’s and 30’s have been diagnosed. There are a small percentage of these women who have a chronic illness, or on a medication where the unfortunate side effect would be osteopenia; but for the most part it is due to sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits. Bones need to be stimulated in order for them to start producing new cells and absorb vitamins and minerals. This means that you must create resistance against the body to stimulate bone growth. Increased bone density has been seen in women with osteopenia after 1 year of a consistent weight training program. Most improved areas were the spine and hips.
- Elevate Mood
Studies have shown that women are twice as likely to develop clinical depression as men, yet two-thirds of these women do not do anything to combat these feelings. When you weight train the body releases endorphins that elevate your mood and sense of self-control.
- Prevent Injuries
As we age, not only do we start to lose muscle, but our balance starts to decline. Women who weight train have a better sense of proprioception, which is basically the awareness of one’s body position. This decreases their risk for falls and as stated before, increases bone density. Therefore, if you do have a fall, you will be less likely to break a bone.
Women who follow a regular weight training program not only reap the benefits of feeling happier but also feel a sense of accomplishment after finishing their workouts. It also helps to increase your sense of independence, because tasks that you may have had to ask assistance with before such as lifting boxes or completing home improvements, you will now have the strength and self-confidence to take care of yourself.
- Ward off chronic disease
Studies have shown that women who participate in weight training twice a week have less of a tendency to develop chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. There are also studies that show women who suffer from fibromyalgia that weight train on a regular basis see improvement in symptoms.
- Stress anxiety relief
After a long stressful day at work, rather than go home and indulging in alcohol or comfort foods to soothe your stress, why not go take out your frustrations on some free weights or a med ball? Not only will the release of endorphins help to elevate your mood, but also you may also be able to clear your head and put closure to your day. Not to mention the morale boost it will give you knowing that you ended your day making your body stronger and healthier, rather than packing it with unnecessary calories.
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