Weight Training for Women

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Weight Training for Women, by IDEA Health and Fitness Association.

According to studies completed on women by Wayne Westcott, PhD from South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA, there are “Ten Important Reasons Why Weight Training for Women Needs to Be Taken Seriously.”

1) To help you lose more fat than you’ll gain in muscle. Women have 10 to 30 times less hormones that cause bulking up than men.

2) Weight training will help your new muscle fight obesity. As women add muscle through weight training, resting metabolism increases and you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. For each pound of muscle gained, 35 to 50 more calories will be burned each day!

3) Make your body stronger. In addition to making daily activities, such as carrying groceries, car seats, and carts easier, a moderate weight training program increases a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent.

4) Stronger bones. Weight bearing exercises strengthen our bones. Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months.

5) Reduce risk of diabetes. Weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in four months.

6) Fight heart disease. Together with cardiovascular and flexibility training, weight training will improve cholesterol and  blood pressure.

7) Beat back pain and fight arthritis. Strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Strength training can ease arthritis pain and strengthen joints.

8) Be a better athlete.

9) Strength gains are possible at any age. Westcott has successfully trained numerous women in their 70s and 80s, and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age. Note, however, that a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.

10) Improve your mental health. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their training program.

The nuts and bolts of the article is outlined above. (For a complete synopsis, I highly recommend reading the article in its entirety by selecting the hyper link.) While, I believe, many of the ideas are common knowledge, I found the long-term statistics staggering relating to how many extra calories can be burned, overall strength gains, and improved bone density.

A really important point this article makes for older active adults is to seek guidance to reduce the risk of injury. Many of our “Baby Boomers” are experiencing injuries while using machines and weights at the gym than ever before. I believe the main difference is that special precautions are not always taken as the body changes with age. Trust me, it’s already happening to those of us encroaching on our 40’s! In addition, flexibility becomes more important as we age to keep our muscles and joints moving comfortably.

What do you find most interesting . . . is there anything that you disagree with . . . please share your ideas.

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