Have you noticed that women tend to be the "Cardio Queens" of exercise. Walk into any gym and there's a clear split, men are in the weight room and women are on the treadmills, ellipticals and bikes. Women typically don't like to do strength training for a few reasons.
1. They don't want to "bulk up" or look like a man
2. They don't know what to do with weights because no one ever showed them how. Sad but true.
3. Weight rooms, weight machines and free weights can be very intimidating.
Am I right? I know because I've been there, done that, said and thought that! But now I know better and want to share that with you! Let me first address the above points.
1. You will NOT bulk up...it's impossible! Unless you make weight lifting your full time gym job or you're taking illegal substances for muscle growth you simply WILL NOT bulk up...so release that from you mind! You won't look like a man because you're not a man. You don't have the genetic make-up or hormones to support a manly physique. What you will look like is a sculpted, toned version of yourself! Nice, right?!!! :)
2. Once you learn some basic exercises you'll be able to strength train like a pro.
3. Weights and weight machines can be intimidating but all they really are are big hunks of metal that you use to push, pull and press you're way to a leaner, toned and stronger you!
Most exercises involve (or should involve) movement patterns that you do on a daily basis anyway. Take the squat for instance. We do squats in some way shape or form all the time...think sitting in a chair or on the toilet. Both forms of squats. Learning to do them with good form and added weight is where the true benefits come from. Bicep curls. Think of all of those bags of groceries you lift and carry, lifting a child or object up to you. Biceps play a big role in those kinds of movements. Are you getting the picture? Those are just a couple of examples. Muscles play a role in everyday life...but just like everything else, if we don't use them, challenge them, train them...we lose them!
That takes me to my next point which is age related muscle loss. After age 25 we lose .5-1% muscle tissue each year or approximately 8% per decade. If we don't incorporate strength training on a daily basis we are no longer able to lift, pull, push objects like we did in our 20's. Slowly over time we find ourselves saying things like "I can't do that like I use to," "I'm not as strong as I use to be," "The older I get the more challenging that (blank) activity has become!" It's an inevitable facet of life if strength training isn't incorporated in your workout program. We (especially women) are also at higher risk for falls and injury because we don't have those strong muscles and connective tissue there to support us, to keep us upright and strong.
Strength training also fortifies your bones...it keeps your bones strong and dense. The older we get, the weaker our bones can become. We hear of older women falling (lack of strength and stability) and breaking a bone (weak, brittle bones) all the time. Even post menopausal women benefit from strength training. Drugs may or may not work to fortify bone structure but research confirms over and over that strength training does work. The pharmaceutical companies don't want you to know that (but that's a whole other story now isn't it).
I don't want to be a frail, weak person as I age! Do you? Do you see the connections here? If you don't use it....You WILL lose it, in more ways than one! As I'm writing this, I'm getting more passionate about how imperative it is to protect yourself and start a strength training routine in your weekly workouts! I hope you are sensing that passion as well and will want to do something about it.
This is just a short snippet (and I've gone longer than I intended) of the importance of strength training for everyone but especially for my female friends! I hope that has come across to you today. Stay tuned as I will give a couple of short points (I promise to be much shorter than this) each day with the many benefits of strength training!
Stay tuned...and remember MAKE TODAY COUNT!!!
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