For those who are wary of weights and addicted to cardio, I posted a blog last week about women and weight training. For me personally, I started exercising at a time when weight training wasn’t on most women’s radar. But after I discovered what it could do for my metabolism and how powerfully it could change the shape and definition of my body, I am passionate about educating women about the reality of resistance training. Here are two final questions to help shed some light.
Will strength training improve my bone health and why is that important? One of the benefits of strength training is that it reduces our risk for osteoporosis, a condition that causes our bones to become weak or brittle and often leads to fractures, mainly of the hip, spine, and wrist. Breaking bones is serious stuff. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 10 million Americans are estimated to have osteoporosis. 34 million more have low bone mass. And 24 percent of hip fracture patients’ age of 50 and over die in the year following their fracture. Often thought of as an older person’s disease, osteoporosis can strike at any age and it’s never too late or too early to take measures to keep your bones healthy and strong. Strength training exercises are one of the key methods of prevention against osteoporosis. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Weight training in young women helped develop greater bone mass. In postmenopausal women it helped slow down bone loss and delay fracture risk. In elderly women it helped to prevent falls due to improved strength and balance. Research supports that strength training will benefit your bones no matter when you start, but you’ll reap the most rewards if you start when you’re young and continue throughout your life.
Will strength training cause me to gain weight? If I’ve managed to finally convince you of the merits of strength training, I hope you’ll dust off the dumbbells and put the scale away. If the scale is your measure of success against the battle of the bulge, you may initially find yourself disappointed. Muscle weighs more than fat, so you may not drop weight as fast. But what matters is that muscle is denser than fat, so it takes up less space. In other words, strength training changes the shape of your body. It positively affects your body composition, (your muscle to fat ratio), so you get leaner and your clothes fit better. That’s a far more powerful gauge than weight on a scale.
The bottom line on strength training is that it shapes and defines your body in a feminine, healthy way. The leaner, stronger, and more defined you are, the better you feel. Strength training is powerful tool toward long-term health bone health, proper weight management, and a fit, confident body.