There are countless health benefits to strength training for women including lowered risk of diabetes, improved mood, increased energy and more.
On any given day at the gym, I always see the same rows of women on the treadmills, ellipticals and stair-masters. Minute by minute, hour after hour, mile after mile… I get bored just thinking about it.
Don’t get me wrong, cardio is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. It gets your blood pumping, boosts your mood and is important for heart health. But if you find yourself hitting the same cardio machine day in and day out, I urge you incorporate more strength training into your fitness routine.
Need a little convincing? Here are 5 reasons you should ditch the cardio and do more strength training:
1. Lose Weight Faster: Guess what I’m doing right now? Sitting down. And chances are, so are you. Fortunately, muscle tissue has a higher resting metabolism rate than fat which means the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn while watching The Voice.
2. Prevent Injury & Reduce Back Pain: When you build muscles, you also improve connective tissues and increase joint stability. This means that you will have a lower risk of injury during your next run or in kickboxing class. A stronger core can also help reduce the risk of back pain by protecting your spine during exercise.
3. Break Through Plateaus: The human body is very good at adjusting to the stresses we place upon it which is why I never recommend doing the same 45 minutes on the elliptical every day. In order to bust through plateaus, I always suggest changing your fitness regime every 6-8 weeks. If you typically go for a morning run, try taking a yoga class. Instead of spin class, try an easy and fun kettlebell routine. You’ll keep your body guessing which means the scale will start to budge.
4. Improve Confidence, Self Esteem and Body Image: You probably don’t need scientific proof but studies show that women feel healthier, more fit and have a better attitude and body image after strength training. Plus, nothing is more empowering than seeing your body get stronger before your own eyes.
5. Fight the Aging Process: More and more research is proving that strength training actually helps fight the aging process. Studies show that exercise protects DNA from the negative affects of aging by fighting oxidative cell damage and inflammation. One researcher even found that “inactive subjects may be biologically older by 10 years.” Yikes! The bottom line, I would rather incorporate weight lifting into my workout routine than rely on expensive creams, needles and laser treatments later in life.
What is your favorite form of strength training? I would love to hear from you – I’m always looking for new workout ideas!