Benefits of strength training for women

Physical exercise

By pH health care professionals

Strength training, also called resistance training or weight training, is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass and/or endurance.

Even though researchers have demonstrated the benefits of weight training for women for years, the number of women who are following this recommendation is still quite low. Research shows that only about 20 percent of women practice strength training weekly, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Most women who exercise spend most of their gym time doing cardio, and less time using resistance. Why? Many women share the common belief that weight training will bulk them up; they fear that they will develop bulging muscles by lifting weights. This is a misconception. According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, high levels of estrogen make it very difficult for women to become overly muscular. Women typically do not gain the kind of size that men gain from strength training because men have around 10-20 times the amount of testosterone, which causes muscle growth. However, women will develop muscle tone and definition -- a huge bonus!

Benefits of strength training for women

Decreased risk of osteoporosis: Because of hormonal changes that women experience as they get older, they naturally lose bone density, which puts them at an increased risk for developing osteoporosis. Weight training can increase bone mineral density.

Body fat and weight control: Strength training can help prevent your body fat percentage from increasing.

Reduced injury risk: Strength training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. At the same time, it will increase balance and coordination, thus aiding in preventing injury.

Heart health: Research shows that weight training for two months can decrease blood pressure and improve overall cholesterol levels by lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, reducing your heart attack and stroke risk.

Better mood and reduced stress:  Exercise has been shown to be a powerful antidepressant in research studies. It also can help reduce levels of the body’s stress hormones.

In conclusion, strength training is a great element to include in a workout program for women. It is a good idea to work with a fitness expert to design a strength training program that is both safe and effective. At pH Total Body Fitness, we have experts in physical conditioning and exercise training who can create the perfect program for you to achieve your goals, not only as they pertain to training but in terms of overall wellness.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

 The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.