Over the last ten years , investigative studies have made highly compelling arguments justifying the beneficial aspects of weight training for women and for those forty years of age and older. However, very few women take the recommendation of weight training seriously. This article by Joe Franco, will emphasize the benefits of weight training as compared to cardio based exercises that most women do.
(1) You Will Lose Fat
Resistance / strength training in combination with cardio based training can help reduce body fat. Studies conducted by Wayne Wescott, PhD. from the South Shore YMCA in Quincy Massachusetts, have shown that the average adult female who does resistance/strength training two to three times a week for two months will gain approximately two pounds of muscle and lose three and half pounds of fat. Further studies show as lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, in other words you burn calories throughout the day. Therefore for every pound of muscle you gain, you will burn 35 to 50 more calories a day, resulting in a more toned and fit body.
(2) You Will Gain Strength Without Bulk
Many women spend the majority of their gym time doing cardiovascular exercises, and less time using resistance that challenges their bodies. Research studies have shown in most cases that women do not gain size from strength training, due to fact that women have 19 to 30 percent less of the hormone (testosterone) that causes muscle hypertrophy, as compared to their male counterparts. However, women will develop firmer (toned) muscles and definition.
(3) You Decrease Your Risk Of Osteoporosis
Research has found that spinal bone density can be increased through weight training, as well as a 13 percent improvement in bone structure over a six month period. This combined with an adequate amount of calcium in their diet can help women build a better defense against osteoporosis.
(4) Reduce Your Risk Of Injury, Back Pain, & Arthritis
By increasing your maximum strength you will develop stronger connective tissues (cartilage, bone, tendons, and blood), reinforcing joint strength and mobility, which will help prevent injuries. A recent 12 year study revealed an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or decreasing lower back pain by strengthening lower back muscles. Further studies showed that the pain of osteoarthritis can be eased through weight training.
(5) You will Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease & Diabetes
Based upon research by Dr. Barry A. Franklin, of William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, through weight training cardiovascular health is improved,bad cholesterol (LDL) is lowered, good cholesterol (HDL) is increased, and it is beneficial in lowering blood pressure. Adult onset diabetes is a wide spread problem among women and men, additional studies by Dr. Franklin show that weight training plays a significant part in how the body processes glucose(sugar).Further research studies reveal that weight training increases glucose function in the body by 23 percent in a four month period.
(6) You Will Improve Your Attitude And Fight Depression
A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training was more successful in reducing symptoms associated with clinical depression than standard counseling. Women who strength trained commonly reported that they felt more confident and capable as a result of their program, which are very significant factors in fighting depression.