When it comes to fitness and exercise, strength training often takes a backseat for many women. Today, we’re diving into a topic close to my heart and, in my humble opinion, incredibly vital for us ladies – strength training. Now, before you visualize hulking muscles and dismiss the idea, let’s set the record straight. Strength training for us women isn’t about transforming into a bulky bodybuilder. Nah, it’s about fostering our inner strength, enhancing our physical and mental health, and generally kicking some major booty!
You might be wondering why you should trade in your beloved cardio for some time with the weights. Well, strength training does wonders for our bodies, from revving up our metabolism, improving bone health, and boosting our mood, to making us more efficient in our day-to-day tasks. Stick around, and I’ll walk you through the incredible ways strength training can change your life, one lifted weight at a time.
Many women have the misconception that lifting weights will make them bulky or masculine. However, it’s quite the contrary. Women have lower levels of testosterone, a hormone that plays a crucial role in muscle growth. That, combined with strategic, progressive strength training, proper nutrition, and adequate recovery, means building mass muscle for women can take a lot of work and a really long time.
So instead, let’s focus on the INCREDIBLE benefits of strength training for women. In this blog post, we will explore some of the lesser-known advantages of strength training.
You are probably aware of the more well-known benefits of strength training, such as increased strength, enhanced body composition, heightened confidence, improved sleep quality, increased bone density, better posture, and joint stability, which are all fabulous. However, there are several more benefits which are lesser known and rarely discussed.
Here are some lesser-known benefits of strength training, specifically for women: Let’s break down and embrace the challenge, and most importantly, let’s celebrate our powerful selves! Ready to get started, ladies? Because I sure am! Let’s lift!
- Hormonal Balance: Regular strength training has been shown to help regulate hormone levels, including estrogen and progesterone. This can be particularly beneficial for women experiencing hormonal imbalances related to conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome [PCOS] or menopause.
- Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases: Regular strength training can help lower the risk of conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. It helps to improve insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and lipid profiles, leading to better overall metabolic health. [Metabolic health: means that your body can respond to food in a beneficial way that reduces your risk of conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.]
- Enhanced Cognitive Function: Research suggests that resistance training can improve cognitive function, memory, and attention span in women. The increased blood flow and oxygenation to the brain during exercise contribute towards these cognitive enhancements.
- Better Menstrual Health: Regular exercise, including strength training, may help regulate menstrual cycles. It can also help improve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome [PMS] and alleviate menstrual pain. In addition, it can also improve mood and energy levels throughout the menstrual cycle.
- Postpartum Recovery & Strength: Postpartum women can benefit from movements that target the pelvic floor, abdominals, and overall body strength. It can help to regain muscle tone, improve posture and enhance overall physical function post-childbirth.
- Mental Health & Well-Being: Engaging in regular strength training sessions releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones which can combat stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, the sense of accomplishment and mental focus during strength training sessions can provide an outlet for stress relief and improve overall mental well-being.
So, who’s ready to embrace the weights and experience the transformative power of strength and training in your life?
As you can see, it is far more than just a means to achieve a certain aesthetic. It is a powerful tool that enhances confidence, promotes physical health, and improves overall well-being.
From improved menstrual cycles to stronger pelvic floors, empowering confidence, increased bone density, enhanced metabolism, improved body composition, better posture and mental well-being, and reduction in chronic diseases, the benefits of strength training extend beyond what meets the eye.
Charlotte is a women’s fitness and nutrition coach, into CrossFit, from England, currently living in Chiang Mai.