6 Reasons Why Women Should Lift
by Samantha Coogan, MS, RDN, LD
1. More Effective Fat Loss
You utilize more oxygen during strength training, and when your body uses more oxygen, it increases your metabolic rate and burns more calories. You won’t get the same results with running or yoga alone. The intensity simply isn’t there.
Endurance training is helpful for initial weight loss. However, that type of training cuts weight from both fat and muscle. Strength training helps build those curves, causing muscle hypertrophy (growth) while burning excessive fat.
3. The More Muscles You Have, The More Calories You Burn at Rest
Strength training increases your RMR (resting metabolic rate), which means that you burn more calories at rest with the more muscle you have. This is also why you may feel hungry more often as you train more. Your body is burning fuel so much more efficiently that you simply need to feed it a bit more.
And no ladies, you won’t get “manly.” We do not produce nearly the same testosterone levels as men to get anywhere near that big, unless of course you have some “anabolic assistance.” And don’t let anyone ever say to you, “Don’t get too big!”
This goes for absolutely everyone. You tear up your muscles in the gym, feed them in the kitchen, and they grow while you rest and sleep. Yes, those reps in the gym are what make your muscles bigger – eventually – with proper sleep and repair.
5. Bone Health
As we age, bone mass starts to decline, plus estrogen levels start to decline as well, which is a major factor in our risk for developing osteoporosis. Weight-bearing activity is one way to prevent the rapid decline of your bone mass. If you are postmenopausal, that’s even more reason to start strength training since at this stage estrogen secretion has ceased.
6. Stress Relief
Many studies have shown a positive correlation between strength training and stress levels. When you can go in and hit a great lifting session, you feel energized and can lower your blood pressure. Also, the more fit you are, the easier it is for you to recover from a traumatic incident, such as a car accident. Your body may be strong enough to withstand the impact compared to an untrained individual.