It is never too early – or too late – to start lifting.
Most women would not consider lifting weights as a path to losing weight and gaining lean muscle tone. The popular misconception is that lifting heavy makes one bulky and heavy while cardio is the best method of getting “shredded.”
In reality, strength training will help you to build more muscle and burn more calories over time than cardio work. Women do not have the proper amounts of testosterone to build heavy muscle mass. A few of the long term benefits include:
Higher Bone Density.
Lower Risk of Osteoporosis which is very common after menopause. Women’s bodies no longer produce estrogen which is a hormone that helps regulate the female reproductive system. It also allows women to absorb calcium more efficiently. Bone density loss is much more severe in women as they age in comparison to men. Resistance training can help to reverse these effects.
Healthier Nervous System.
Heavy weights builds more strength gains than lighter weights for more reps. The load on our nervous system increases blood flow to the brain, improves nerve conduction, and has even been demonstrated to improve learning capacity over the span of a year in one study on women lifting regularly.
More Stable Joints.
If you are visiting the chiropractor each week just to function, you may need some weight lifting in your life. As we age our connective tissue and muscle begins to break down naturally. If you are not doing some exercise to slow the rage of this process, it’s all downhill. Resistance training increases muscle mass and therefore joint stability. Many practitioners notice a drastic reduction in pain through this increased strength.
Higher Quality of Life.
Regular exercise with a community of positive people increases serotonin production in the brain. Community weightlifting programs have been shown to greatly increase retention through the social aspect of the programs. Increased length of time training leads to increased physical benefits.
Weight lifting has been shown to improve glucose control and body composition, build bone and muscle, and help preserve strength, independence, and vitality with age (Seguin et al). One study of 414 adults over 54 years old in a strength training program found an increase in strength of 113% in just 12 weeks (Sciamanna et al). It is never too late to start!
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Strength Training & Older Women
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