People everywhere are now aware that some or the other form of exercise is good for health. Obviously, women too want to stay slim and healthy, specially after they are in their 30’s. However, there is still a lot of misconception among women about whether weight training should be done by them or not. It’s generally known that weight training causes men to build a lot of muscle and become huge and ripped. So it’s commonly thought that weight training by itself, will produce similar results in women. That is not the case. Let’s see why weight training is beneficial for women and won’t cause them to become muscular and bulky like men.
1) Less testosterone means less muscle mass: Testosterone is the hormone that makes men, men. It is what causes and helps build and maintain muscles in men, along with numerous other functions. Women, however, do not have as much testosterone as men. They have estrogen. The tiny amount of testosterone that is present in a woman’s body is not nearly enough to create the kind of muscle mass that an average man has. Hence, weight training in women will give you all the benefits that it would to a man, except for the substantial muscle mass. The general effects of testosterone in men can be found here and the general effects of estrogen in women can be found here.
2) Better way to lose fat: When compared head to head, weight training is more effective at burning body fat that either yoga or cardiovascular exercises. Also, the main advantage of weight training is your body’s ability to burn fat during and after exercise. After a heavy bout of strength training, you continue to consume additional oxygen in the hours and even days that follow. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. When your body uses more oxygen, it requires more caloric expenditure and an increased metabolic rate.
3) Improved heart and bone health: People who lift weights are less likely have heart disease risk factors such as a large waist circumference, high triglycerides, elevated blood pressure, and elevated glucose levels. As you age, you are at risk of losing both bone and muscle mass. Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk for osteoporosis because the body no longer secretes estrogen. Resistance training is an excellent way to combat loss of bone mass, and it decreases the risk of osteoporosis.
4) Increased calorie expenditure and better sleep: As you increase strength and lean muscle mass, your body uses calories more efficiently. Daily muscle contractions from a simple blink to a heavy squat contribute to how many calories you burn in a given day. Sitting burns fewer calories than standing; standing burns fewer than walking, and walking burns fewer than strength training. Also, as a result of all the hard work while exercising, strength training greatly improves sleep quality, aiding in your ability to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake less often during the night.
Therefore, it’s quite important that along with yoga or cardiovascular exercises, women include weight training in their regimen too. Not only it is better that either just yoga or cardio, it will complement their benefits and make you stronger overall. Resistance training can benefit in all aspects of your life. Put it in your fitness plan and feel stronger, healthier, and more confident!