All women, no matter the age, can and should strength train. Here are 6 reasons why we believe women should strength train.
Reason #1: strength training will build lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass increases your metabolism. A higher metabolism results in increase burning of fat and calories resulting in less body fat percentage overall.
Reason #2: strength training burns more calories. Research has shown that for each pound of muscles you gain, you can burn up to about 35 to 50 more calories a day — just by having more muscle tone!
Reason #3: strength training makes day to day tasks easier. As a new mom, you are doing substantially more lifting day to day than before, including lifting and moving your baby, the car seat, diaper bag etc. If your body is not strong enough to do those tasks, it can be really difficult and very tiring for a new mom. It can make tasks such as climbing stairs, doing yard work or even transitioning from sitting to standing easier.
Reason #4: strength training is good to help you stay motivated with exercise. If you are new to fitness or in the middle of your fitness journey, it can be really motivating to see results with your strength training. Starting off with modifications followed by progression to doing full reps without modifications can help you stay motivated to increase your strength.
Reason #5: Strength training can help prevent, slow the progression of, or even reverse signs of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Strength training can help increase bone density which is extremely important for women as we age. As younger women, we should be incorporating strength training to prevent changes in bone density as we get older.
Reason # 6: strength training just makes you feel great. It feels incredible to say, “Look what I just did!” or “Look at how far I’m progressing in my strength?” In addition to feeling generally awesome about yourself, strength training can give you more energy, better sleep, and improve your mood. It’s the recipe for a lot of positivity in your life.
If you are reading along saying, that’s all great, but I don’t know how to strength train or I’ve never strength trained before, what do I do?
We suggest, if you are new to strength training, to start with very simple body weight exercises such as squats or even sit-to-stands from a chair, wall push ups or calf raises. Once you feel comfortable with these add in light weights and build up strength over time. We recommend starting a weight training program or strength training program 2-3 days per week and building up over time.
Strength training is not one size fits all. We will be happy to guide you in programming what is best suited for you and your goals. Click here to check out our fitness offerings at Legacy Physical Therapy.