A lot of my friends make the dreaded face when I tell them I am doing a lot of weight training again. The “You’ll never lose weight doing that you have to do cardio” face. Or the “You are going to look like a man in a dress” face. Then I roll my eyes and try to explain the benefits of weighting ESPECIALLY for women in their 30s to them. From bone health to disease prevention the benefits are scientifically proven and the body of evidence continues to grow.
Don’t get me wrong getting your heart rate up for a cardio work out is very beneficial to your heart health but the fact of the matter is, it is not enough on it’s own. Weight training is very important to getting that sculpted body you are dreaming of AND keeping yourself healthy as you get older. Here are 4 reasons why you should consider adding a weight training plan to your fitness routine:
- Increase your muscle mass– This may not be a concern for you now, however your muscle mass allows us to MOVE. Walking up stairs or picking up your grocery bag might not seem like a challenge for your young muscles now, but as you age you naturally lose muscle mass. If you don’t have muscle mass to begin with you could end up in a sticky situation when you are older.
- Increase bone density– Women are more prone to disease like osteoporosis and arthritis. So protecting our bones now is a very important thing to do! Weight training is one of the few ways to do this. When we make our bones bear more weight (like when we lift a dumbbell) it put’s more stress on them. This may sound like a BAD thing if you are trying to prevent brittle bone syndrome but it’s not! When you put stress on the bone, it causes the body to redirect calcium to be put back into them instead of taken away. As we age this cycle naturally tips to drawing more calcium OUT of bones and the effects of menopause (losing estrogen) as well as naturally having less dense bones than our male counterparts puts women more at risk. If we can build up the strength of our bones NOW we can help prevent the effects of too much calcium loss in our futures.
- Increase metabolism– Building lean muscle mass is the only way to naturally increase you metabolism. And to do this we must weight train. When you body needs to support more muscle mass it naturally increased it metabolic rate and you actually burn more calories while you are resting as well.
- Helps prevent disease– When you increase your lean muscle mass your body becomes more sensitive to insulin. This can help combat type II diabetes. It also helps decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease which is a leading cause of death in women.
These are only some of the benefits of weightlifting for women. If you don’t have weights in your own home check out my post on how to start a weightlifting program with no weights.