How Women Benefit from Lifting Weights
Burn More Calories: In comparison to cardio, strength training in the same 30 minutes burns more calories. It takes more energy (calories) to build muscle. Creating more muscle mass well then equal more calories burned, boost in your metabolism and a more efficient body.
Maintain Muscle: After the age of 30 women lose an average 22% of their total muscle. What causes even more problems is that the muscle is usually replaced with fat. One pound of fat takes up 18% more space than one pound of muscle, so even if the number on the scale decreases, your pant size will increase. Strength train 2-3 days a week, with an added 3-4 days of cardio for optimal results.
Bone Strength: Weight lifting helps to fight osteoporosis, a disease that effects approximately 8 million women in the US. The muscles you lift pull on tendons which pull on bones. This added stress creates a stronger set of bones.
Heart Strength: The increase in blood pressure after weight lifting actually creates a stronger, more efficient heart in the long run. The blood is forced back up in to the heart and then forced back out to the muscles, keeping the cardiovascular system in optimal working order. An increase in lean mass allows for more work to be done, creating a stronger heart over time.
Memory: Weight lifting has been known to increase brain capacity and more specifically memory function. The combination of computers and moderate exercise decreases the risk of memory loss more than any other activity by itself.
Decreased Stress: A release of endorphins is more often than not one of the results of strength training. An Australian study found that 3 strength workouts a week caused an 18% drop in depression after 10 weeks. Resistance training also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, relieving anxiety and agitation.
Blood Sugar: Resistance training assists the body in regulating blood sugar, which can help to prevent diabetes. If diabetes is already an issue, strength training can improve blood sugar control in combination with blood sugar drugs.
Balance: Over the course of time, smaller fast twitch muscles responsible for power, speed and balance, decrease in effectiveness. Resistance training helps to maintain these fibers.
That Time: Various studies show that intense training eases menstrual cramps more effectively than prolonged, gentler exercise. Aerobic exercise was found to help with PMS and mood related issues associated with hormonal changes.