It is no secret that the average American woman have a love-hate relationship with strength exercises.They equate strength training with lifting heavy weights and bulging muscles. Of the 12.7 million women with commercial health club memberships, an estimated half of them incorporate weight machines into their workouts with only one-third who lifted free weights. This statistic was reported by the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). In spite of this, scientific studies continue to stack up in favor of it.
As we begin the year 2019, it is still shocking that there’s a lot of misinformation regarding the effects of strength exercises on women based on unfounded myths.To start with, pumping a 150 lb. barbell is not the only way to train for strength. If your fitness program involve weights, it is highly unlikely that you will develop bulging muscles. And even then, it takes a lot more than just lifting a few weights.
Exercise is an important component for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It helps to improve physical and mental functioning as we age. Despite the fact that strength exercises offer exponential benefits on top of what traditional cardio has to offer, any mention of “weights” would have the average woman literally running for the hills!
Why Is Strength Exercises Important?
Muscle loses size (sarcopenia) and strength as we get older. This can cause unwanted aches and pains, fatigue, and loss of balance. Strength exercises can help reduce or stop this progression if done regularly. A published report in Science Daily concluded that muscle loss was greater in participants who performed cardio exercises only and omitted strength workouts. However, those who mixed strength and cardio exercises were able to preserve muscle mass and burned more fat. Many experts on the topic of aging consider strength workouts to be the real fountain of youth. Backed by science and research, here are the reasons why.
Increased mental and physical stamina – Strength exercises result in a stronger, leaner, and healthier body. The brain releases feel-good endorphins that are generated during and after exercising. Think of it as a natural elixir for your mood and body. You will be in much better shape to handle the stresses of everyday living. In one study, participants in the 40+ age group who followed a persistent exercise program were found to be more active and energetic. In addition, they are also more likely to engage in active events.
Better heart health and reduced blood pressure – Coronary disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States. Strength exercises help to reduce inflammation аnd visceral fat in the midsection – which iѕ one of the major components that leads tо heart failure.
Combined with cardio, strength training exercises may be as effective as prescribed drugs for lowering systolic blood pressure.