Strength training doesn’t have to mean bodybuilding, and it’s certainly not just for men; weights have significant health benefits for women. Don’t worry – you won’t end up looking like Arnold! Women generally have too much estrogen in their bodies to build large amounts of bulk.
Because women naturally have less muscle mass than men, strength training can help make everyday activities easier, such as picking up the kids, carrying groceries, or working on household projects. Older women should be more proactive about age-related sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) as a means of combating frailty. Studies have shown that strength training by women helps to reduce bone loss, helping to prevent osteoporosis and muscular deterioration and making aging a healthier, more enjoyable process.
Resistance training can also be a helpful complement to a weight loss program. Combined with cardio, resistance training can help reduce body fat and leave you more toned and fit-looking, and some studies have shown that weight lifting can increase metabolism following a workout.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that healthy adults perform strength-training exercises at least twice per week, with eight to 12 repetitions per exercise.
Additional information on strength training for women:
10 Reasons Why Women Should Strength Train
Women’s Heart Foundation
New England Wellness Web