Senior Women Do Strength Training and What Are the Reasons Women of All Ages Should Consider Strength Training Too

In our post earlier today we noted how Senior Women are likely kicking your butt in the gym and in many other parts of life as well.  So if you weren’t convinced that strength training is for you, Elizabeth Quinn, About.com’s resident exercise physiologist and fitness consultant notes these and more in her About.com column on fitness:

  1. You Will Be Physically Stronger: Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent upon others for assistance in daily living.
  2. You Will Lose Body Fat: Studies performed by Wayne Westcott, PhD, from the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, found that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, and you burn more calories all day long.
  3. You Will Gain Strength Without Bulk: Researchers also found that unlike men, women typically don’t gain size from strength training, because compared to men, women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle hypertrophy. You will, however, develop muscle tone and definition.  (FYI – this applies to the majority of trans-women as well; especially if you are on HRT; see this article by Krista about how to strength train for MtF trans-women).
  4. You Decrease Your Risk Of Osteoporosis: Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling) by 13 percent in six months.
  5. You Will Reduce Your Risk Of Injury, Back Pain and Arthritis: Strength training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability.
  6. You Will Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease: According to Dr. Barry A. Franklin, of William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. When cardiovascular exercise is added, these benefits are maximized.
  7. You Will Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes: In addition, Dr. Franklin noted that weight training may improve the way the body processes sugar, which may reduce the risk of diabetes.
  8. You Will Improve Your Attitude And Fight Depression: A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program, all important factors in fighting depression.

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