What if I told you that there is indeed a “fountain of youth”? It’s no joke. And it is more simple and less expensive than you are imagining. It’s called strength training and here is why it’s important for everyone, particularly women.
Strength Training Helps Preserve Muscle Mass
Muscle mass decreases approximately 3–8% per decade after the age of 30 and this rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60. This leads to a loss of strength, which increases vulnerability to injury due to bone density changes and stability issues. When we lose muscle it is also accompanied by a progressive increase in fast mass. Essentially we change our body composition, which isn’t desirable! The look most people women desire is a body that has more muscle mass on it…not less. Strength training helps stimulate muscle fibers and signals our brain to hold on to that muscle tissue. By the way – lifting weights does not make you “manly” or “bulky”. It makes you strong, toned and resilient.
Strength Training Strengthens Bones and Helps Prevent Osteoporosis
An estimated eight million women and two million men in the United States have osteoporosis. Of the several exercise training programs, resistance training is known to be highly beneficial for the preservation of bone and muscle mass.
Activities that put stress on bones can nudge bone-forming cells into action. That stress comes from the physical tugging and pushing on bone that occur during strength training (as well as weight-bearing aerobic exercises like walking or running). Strong bones are essential to prevent injuries.
Strength Training Improves Mood
We all know that exercise has mood-boosting capabilities. And it’s not just the classic “runner’s high”. Results from a 2018 study showed that resistance exercise “significantly reduced depressive symptoms” among research participants. One notable finding was that participants showed an improvement in their mood regardless of whether they grew physically stronger from the exercises. That’s pretty powerful!
Strength Training Improves Posture and Balance
No one wants to see their posture reduced – or the dreaded hunchback as they age. Resistance training improves posture by strengthening the muscles of your upper back, shoulders, hips and core, helping bring these muscle groups back into balance and our joints into proper alignment. Lifting weights also helps improve our balance by strengthening the muscles around our joints.
Strength Training Improves Confidence!
Resistance training builds confidence. There is such power and satisfaction that comes from working hard in the gym. And, as simple as it sounds, some of that stems from literally lifting heavy things. Knowing you can do it, you are capable and you are strong.