EXPLAINING THE MYTHS OF STRENGTH TRAINING IN WOMEN WITH BENEFITS

When women hear of strength training what comes to mind are the large muscles men build with heavy weight lifting. Strength training is certainly not just for men; weights have significant health benefits for women. Many women miss out on the benefits of strength training out of fear of developing bulging muscles. 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. When women lift weights, the changes to their muscles are generally related to tone, strength, and endurance rather than size. The resulting look is firm, feminine toning, not bulky masculine muscles. Majority of women have low levels of testosterone and so they do not develop large muscles or gain sufficient amounts of weight in response to a moderate intensity weight training program. Men have higher levels of testosterone so they can build muscles more easily. Studies have shown that strength training by women helps to reduce bone loss, helping to prevent osteoporosis and muscular deterioration and making aging a healthier, more enjoyable process.

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  • PRESERVES MUSCLE MASS:Women’s muscle mass diminishes with age. You can counteract this loss through strength training. The percentage of fat on your body increases as you get older if you do not do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose. Strength training helps preserve and enhance your muscle mass, regardless of your age.

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  • CONTROLS WEIGHT: A regular strength training program will help   you increase lean body mass and burn   calories   more efficiently, which can result in healthy weight loss.

 

 

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  • REDUCES RISK OF OSTEOPOROSIS: Because of hormonal changes that women experience as they get older, they naturally lose bone density, putting them at increased risk for developing osteoporosis. Routinely lifting weights slows bone deterioration and can help your bones grow stronger, help you maintain strength, and reduce your chance of developing — or slow the effects of — osteoporosis.

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  • DECREASES THE RISK OF INJURY: Being a woman automatically saddles you with a lot of responsibilities such as picking up the kids, cooking, cleaning and so much more. For this reason, building muscles becomes increasingly important to help you maintain your independence as you age. When you build muscle, you help protect your joints from injury and increase your balance and coordination

 

 

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  • IMPROVED BODY COMPOSITION: Strength training will improve your body composition by increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat mass. The muscle mass built will increase your metabolic rate initiating the burning of calories which will reduce your body fat and also reduce the risk for chronic diseases associated with overweight and obesity. This will improve your overall body look by giving you a trim and tighter body

 

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  • IMPROVED PERFORMANCE OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES: to be physically fit, you need muscular strength because in the course of the day, asides engaging in exercises, we are faced with strength related tasks that requires an increased capacity. It could be coming down to push your car just when it disappoints you at a point where you have no option or even carrying a bag of rice from the shop you bought it to your car parked at a considerable distance. A woman with a moderate to high level of muscular strength and endurance would have no problem performing every task with ease. People with poor muscle strength tire more easily and are less effective in both everyday and recreational activities

 

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  • IMPROVED MUSCLE AND BONE HEALTH WITH AGEING: Women tend to loose bone mass or density especially after menopause. the bones looses calcium and other minerals and joints also begin to loose cartilage. A lifelong program of regular strength training prevents muscle & nerve degeneration that can compromise the quality of life and increase the risk of hip fractures & other potentially life threatening injuries. For older women, this is a very good means of combating frailty

 

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  • Complements weight loss programs: Resistance training can also be a helpful complement to a weight loss program. Combined with cardio, resistance training can help reduce body fat and leave you more toned and fit-looking, and some studies have shown that weight lifting can increase metabolism following a workout.

 

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  • #Make a decision to lift weights today! Women developing muscles as a result of strength training is all a myth…. The levels of estrogen in women makes it difficult for them to become overly muscular, instead the changes seen are related to strength, tone and endurance

 

Stephanie Nyong
About Stephanie Nyong 66 Articles
Stephanie O. Nyong is a seasoned health educator and content strategist at Health Platforms International where she empowers individuals especially women and girls with knowledge and skills to prevent and manage a number of health conditions. She is the founder of BE-ME Africa, a Breast Examination and Menstrual Education project for young girls. Stephanie also organises pop-up clinics regularly to provide affordable quality healthcare services to a target population. She is admired in the industry and has the capacity to deliver on the current demand for health literacy for improved health outcomes in Nigeria. You can connect with her across all social media handles @stephanie_nyong

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