In today's world, women are more independent than ever. They are taking on the roles of breadwinner, mom, cook, and chauffeur. And for single moms, everything else as well. To be able to handle all this work, wouldn't it make sense to be 30% - 50% stronger? Sure, you say, but I don't want to look like a body builder with big muscles.
Women tend to think they will look “manly" and “bulky" if they lift weights or do resistance exercise. Not so - if you don't look that way now, you won't even after lifting weight hard for many years. In order to look like Ms. Arnold, you'd have to pump up on hormones and steroids. Women's bodies do not produce enough of the hormones which create muscle growth to worry about getting “big" muscles.
That's not to say women can't be strong - they can be incredibly strong. In fact, pound for pound, they can be stronger than most men. Size and strength do not always go hand-in-hand.
Here's a whole list of good reasons to start lifting:
Gain Strength, Not Bulk
Studies show women typically don't gain size from strength training because, compared to men, women have up to 30 times less hormones that cause muscle growth. You will, however, develop muscle tone and definition.
Improve Your Athletic Performance
Research has conclusively proven that strength training improves athletic ability in all but the very elite endurance athletes. Whatever sport you participate in, strength training has been shown to improve performance as well as decrease the incidence of injury.
Be Physically Stronger
Increased strength will make you far less dependent upon others. If your maximum strength is increased, daily tasks and routine exercise will be far less likely to cause injury. Research studies conclude that even moderate weight training can increase a woman's strength by up to 50 percent. Studies also show that women develop strength at the same rate as men.
Decrease Your Risk of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis affects one in two women making it one of the most serious health issues of our time. This degenerative and progressive illness essentially weakens the bones until they can no longer handle loads and snap like dried twigs.
Research found that weight training can increase spinal bone density by almost 13% in only six months. This, coupled with an adequate amount of dietary calcium, can be a great defense against osteoporosis.
Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes
Weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering LDL “bad" cholesterol, increasing HDL “good" cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
In addition, weight training may improve the way the body processes sugar, which may also reduce the risk of diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes is a growing problem for women and men. Research shows that weight training can improve glucose utilization in the body by more than 20% in four months.
Have More Energy and Less Depression at Any Age
While you might feel tired after your workout, weights will help you to build stamina and strength that fight depression at any age. Even women in their 60s and 70s have benefited.
Reduce Your Risk of Injury, Back Pain & Arthritis
Strength training builds stronger muscles, but it also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This helps prevent injury.
A recent 12-year study showed that strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain.
Lose Body Fat
Studies show that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain about two pounds of muscle and will lose approximately 3 pounds of fat! Note this is WITHOUT grueling cardio.
Your lean muscle increases your resting metabolism: you burn more calories all day long. Indeed, for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 - 50 more calories daily, that's a lot when you consider it takes 10 to 15 minutes on the treadmill to burn that amount.
There is no reason why not to work with weights - or machines, if you prefer. Just 2 to 3 sessions per week will have you fitter, stronger and more confident. These sessions need not be more than 45 minutes (max).
Forget about muscles bursting out all over like a female body builder - even these women look completely normal after a few months off the circuit. And those six pack abs? Only a strict, low fat diet will get you those.
It takes years and serious dedication to get a muscular, ripped body: you won't lose your sexy looks from a few sessions a week no matter how hard you try.
Zeb Baker (AKA Cliff) is the owner of The Fat Burner, a site with tons of free articles and great information about fat loss, which is ‘smart weight loss’ . Lose weight without wrecking your metabolism, without fad diets, without drugs and without expensive supplements. He has a free ‘mini-course’ and newsletter packed with great information about healthy weight loss. Drop by at http://www.TheFatBurner.net
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