Five Benefits to Strength Training for Women

by Kara Pavlidis, Certified Personal Trainer & Registered Dietitian

You’ve witnessed the traditional scene at the gym; men performing strength training exercises and women on the treadmills. However, strength training is known for many positive health benefits, and is not only for men and elite athletes. It has been known to not only improve athletic performance, but reduce the risk of injury and chronic disease, improve mental health, increase your metabolism and gain overall strength in performing activities of daily living.

Reduce You Risk of Injury: After menopause, women can lose 1-2 percent of their bone mass every year. If strength training is performed 2-3 times per week, it has been proven to enhance bone density in women. Strength training can also reduce the risk of fractures, which is a huge concern for post-menopausal women. 

Reduce Your Risk of Chronic Disease: By following a strength training regimen, women can reduce their risk of many chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Strength training improves the way the body processes sugar, builds stronger connective tissue and increases joint stability. When combined with aerobic exercise, your risk of developing chronic disease decreases even more!

Improved Mental Health: Recent studies have discovered that women who engage in a regular strength training routine have shown improvements in the ability to perform memory tasks verses those who don’t. Enhanced mental health will positively impact sleep habits and reduce stress.

Increased Metabolism: As you increase muscle mass and lose fat mass, your body is able to burn calories at a faster rate. Performing strength training exercises and allowing contraction of muscle groups, will contribute to a higher calorie burn throughout the day. If you have more lean muscle mass, you’ll burn more calories!

Overall Strength: Some women avoid strength training because they are afraid it will cause them to ‘bulk up’. Unlike men, women typically don’t gain size from strength training because women have 10 to 30 times less hormones that cause muscle hypertrophy (increased volume). Instead, women benefit from strength training by gaining muscle tone and definition.

Strength training can be performed with body weight, free weights, using a TRX band, kettle bells, medicine balls, BOSU and more. Performing strength training 2-3 times per week along with an aerobic regimen will put you on the road to fitness success. The team of nationally certified personal trainers at the Exeter Area YMCA can help you learn more about the benefits of strength training to build a strong foundation towards long term health.

Stop by the ‘Y’ today! 

Southern District YMCA is a cause-driven organization that is for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.