Weight training can be an intimidating form of exercise if you do not have much experience, never mind the meatheads flexing in front of the mirrors and the leftover sweat on the machines. All joking aside, women are proving that they can do anything guys can, and are starting to be seen more often in the weight room squatting, pressing and deadlifting on a regular basis these days. (I am woman hear me roar!)
By adding weight and strength training into your regular workout routines of yoga, running and kickboxing, you will receive so many added benefits not only to your health but your overall athletic performance as well. Next time you find yourself second guessing your interests in weight training, check out these 17 benefits of weight training to peak your interest and boost your confidence.
Losing fat is a total plus when lifting weights and studies have shown that you burn more fat over time from weight training due to gaining lean muscle mass. According to EveryDay Health, by losing approximately 5% of your body fat you can gain all kinds of added perks like lowering your cholesterol levels, improved sleep and overall better quality of life. We'll take it!
Osteoporosis is not only an incredibly difficult word to spell, but also a very common bone disease that affects elderly men and women, but more predominately Caucasian and Asian women. It causes your bones to break down more quickly and become weak and brittle. Weight training can help to strengthen bones and prevent bone loss.
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Heart disease affects not only the heart but also the blood system, as well, and is the number one cause of heart attack. According to the American Heart Assocation, moderate weight training offers some really big benefits to those suffering from heart disease and drastically decreases future risk for those who don't already suffer from it. Lift those weights, girl!
According to the World Health Organization, as many as 41% of women suffer from a form of mental illness. But working out an weight training can help immensely when fighting depression and anxiety. This type of movement releases serotonin, which helps fight off depression and anxiety by regulating mood and sleep hormones.
So there is this super cool thing called EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen). While solely doing cardio-based workouts like running, you only burn calories while you perform. When it comes to weight training, that increases your EPOC even after your sweat session. Your body needs excess fuel to aid your metabolism and large muscle groups so you continue to burn fat and gain lean muscle even after you leave the gym. Pretty cool, huh?
Do I really need to say anymore? By lifting weights, you again burn fat which helps to create lean muscles making all your clothes just look better on you. You will notice your jeans fitting better and your shirts accentuating your toned arms. Totally worth it.
Building off of better fitting clothes, you will gain so much self-confidence by weight training. Not only are you working on your health, fitness, and physique, but you are also learning a new skill which can benefit you in all areas of your life and make you feel empowered. Snap that selfie, girl, because you look hot!
No need to ask a man to help you open that jar of peanut butter or lift the end of the couch to sweep under it. Girl, you are independent and have an arsenal of muscle to show for all of your hard work in the gym slinging those weights. Your improved strength with show with both personal records (PR) in the gym, but also with simple tasks around the house.
If you participate in intramural or coed sports like kickball or softball you have probably had your fair share of injuries. If you simply run competitively and are training for some more upcoming distance runs, weight training will reduce your risk of injury drastically by (*ahem*) building strength to help support your skeletal system, muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc.
Diabetes, high cholesterol, and other metabolic diseases can be treated and maintained by weight training. There have been multiple studies about the benefits of weight training in cancer treatments and with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), as well by reducing insulin resistance and aiding hormone regulation. Impressed yet?
By building lean muscle mass from weight training, you are gaining strength and the ability to exert more force, but also speed, balance, agility and reflex reaction. Your overall performance in everyday life and leisure sports will change significantly.
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Stand tall girl! I know I keep pounding this into your brain, but weight training makes you strong. It strengthens your muscles, bones… everything! Which, in turn, will help you stand tall and improve your posture greatly. So don’t be afraid to do a couple extra sets of upper body exercises to help pull your shoulders back and strengthen your upper back and shoulders.
So, high blood pressure or hypertension is a pretty serious condition. It puts a lot of stress on your body including your heart, eyes, and kidneys and can also lead to stroke. That's some scary sh*t. Strength training can aid in lowering your blood pressure over time and greatly reduce the chances of the adverse effects from hypertension.
Weight training increases circulation, aids in EPOC (remember that from a few slides back), strengthens the heart (which is a muscle), aids in better sleep and helps to burn fat which overall can increase your energy levels over time. Which means less caffeine needed in the morning, which means less money spent at Starbucks. Basically, weight training will make you rich.
Remember the line from Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” Elle Woods totally had it right. Endorphins are chemicals in your brain that are neurotransmitters that help aid in mood regulations. After strength training, you get a rush of endorphins and in turn get a euphoric kind of high.
After a long weight training session, you just might feel like you can run the world. It must be the release of endorphins, but suddenly you'll feel as if you need to clean the house, fold all the laundry and then get all of your work down before sundown — speaking from personal experience. Weight and strength training have been shown to increase productivity. So start checking off items on your to-do list after you burn some fat at the gym!
Work. Relationships. Friendships. School. Family. Bills. Life is stressful and can at times be incredibly overwhelming. Stress is not good for the body and can lead to digestive troubles, anxiety, depression, weight gain, and heart disease. Strength training is a great stress reliever and can make all of your troubles seem much easier to deal with. Grab a barbell and lift, sister!
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