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As ladies we have less testosterone than men. This means we have less natural strength. Before you use that as an excuse to stick to the cardio machines that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t lift something heavy! In fact, it is quite the opposite, this is all the more reason we need strength training in our lives.
1) Performance Gains
Racing fast means racing strong. While young men may be able to get by on their high testosterone levels and youth there is strong evidence to support performance gains when adding an appropriate strength training element to your training regimen.
2) Injury Prevention
Strengthening can help prevent future injuries. Muscles that are balanced and strong are less likely to experience strains. Strong musculature around joints can help keep those joints stable and prevent sprains. Even if you’re not an athlete you need a strong base. According to the American Council on Exercise more than 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Having strong core muscle supports the spine and can keep you pain free.
3) Everyday Activities
Yes, strength can help with those obstacle races, but being strong is so much more important for your everyday! You need to be strong enough to carry heavy groceries from your car to the kitchen, or pick up little ones when they are too tired to walk. Not to mention fun outdoor activities like rock climbing, hiking, and kayaking are all the more enjoyable if you are strong enough to participate and still move with ease the next day.
4) Bone Health
I was told at a recent doctor appointment that I was having trouble shedding a few extra pounds because as you get a bit older, the body wants to hang on to that fat to protect your bones. Sigh. But let’s not rely only on that! Weight bearing exercise have been shown to improve bone density which means that adding a few strength sessions to your weekly routine will help lower your risk for developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become brittle and porous, as a result they are more likely to fracture.
5) Washboard Abs
Who doesn’t dream of six pack abs? While most of us will never get those, you can enjoy a certain level of sexy tummy muscles. Strength training is not just about toning muscles. As great as cardio is for your health, strength training burns belly fat faster!
6) Better Body Composition
Research has shown that strength training is where is at if you are trying to blast fat. Lifting weights not only helps you build more lean muscle mass, it leads to a greater rate of Excess post-exercises oxygen consumption (EPOC.) This means your body is burning more calories at rest as it works to bring your body back into homeostasis.
7) Pump Up Your Self Confidence
Strength training is empowering and can help improve your self-image. Who couldn’t benefit from a confidence boost? Not to mention, being able to open that jar of pickles yourself feels pretty darn good!
Whether you workout at home or head to the gym make sure to find some time in your workout routine for strength training. The benefits are numerous and these seven are just to get you started!