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Many women forget to incorporate strength, or weight, training into their workouts. In fact, working on muscle tone and strength through weight lifting is just as important to your health as aerobic exercise. The major benefit for your health, beside strengthening your muscles, is reversing the decline of bone density and muscle mass that comes with aging. As you get older, your bones start to deteriorate and your muscle fibers shrink. If you establish a weight training program when you’re younger, and even if you start using weights later in life, you can offset these natural aspects of the aging process and preserve your health and ability to function.

Women sometimes fear that they are going to bulk up if they lift too much weight. If you lift at your own pace, this won’t happen. First of all, women don’t have enough testosterone to look like bulky, manly muscle-flexors. Furthermore, if you lift more repetitions on a lower weight, you’ll be working toward muscle tone rather than muscle bulk. Most women agree that they prefer to get muscle tone from weight lifting. Talk to a trainer about a program designed specifically for toning your muscles. The best way to get tone is to choose lower weights (but not too easy) and to lift more repetitions and sets on that weight. Also, it’s important to get a total body workout and to lift weight on all of your muscle groups—both in the upper body and lower body—to reap the rewards. Weight training not only strengthens muscles, it also strengthens bones. Weight training has been linked with the prevention of osteoporosis and the increase of bone density. If you’re interested in losing body fat and maintaining a healthy weight, strength training is ideal because it helps to boost your metabolism. Muscle burns three times more calories than fat does, and does so quickly even when you’re at rest. Without strong, toned muscles, your body is much slower about burning calories.

If you decide to incorporate weight training into your workout, you’ll need to make sure you’re lifting correctly. Incorrect positioning or lifting too much weight at once can cause injury and strain on your muscles and bones. Talk to a professional exercise trainer for the basics in weight training technique. There will most likely be a trainer at your gym who can help you figure out how to maneuver your weights. Machines are a good way to get used to the correct movement and form that comes with proper weight training.

Click below to read about related topics.

Introduction
Low Impact vs. High Impact
Aerobic Exercise
Strength Training
Flexibility