Back in the day, it was assumed that strength training was for men only. We equated it with pictures of grotesquely over built, oily, fake-baked men in tiny weenie bikinis! But today we have come to understand that those were extreme examples of bodybuilding which had nothing to do with health or fitness.
So what are some of the benefits for women?
1. Strength training speeds up your metabolism which leads to increased fat burning. Combining it with cardio will lead to more and quicker fat loss than cardio alone. Muscle tissue even burns calories when at rest so the more muscle you add the more fat you burn!
2. Strength training fights osteoporosis. Working your muscles in a targeted, intense way increases bone density by increasing the pull on the bones to which the muscles are attached.
3. Strength training improves balance. You not only build stronger muscles and bones, but also stronger tendons and ligaments. As you get stronger you also become more coordinated and thus less likely to fall and injure yourself. If you do fall, you have muscle tissue in place to act as padding for your bones and joints.
4. It just helps you feel and look better! Body fat is reduced and lean muscle is increased. Toned, firm muscles pad your skin to prevent jiggly arms and droopy skin. You feel energized and confident. It can even improve your posture!
When designing your fitness program, be sure to include weight or resistance training as well as cardio for the best all around routine for total body fitness. Ask your doctor or a fitness professional for advice on setting up your fitness program.