I have always been a person who enjoys exercise, but sometimes you feel that you put in the time and don’t see the results. This was up until I started to focus in on Strength Training in 2011. It wasn’t until I started to track my workouts and really started to “lift weights” did I finally see the results I had always wanted. I was stronger and leaner than I had ever been! Notice that I didn’t say “big and bulky” as many women think they will become when lifting weights. Women, compared to men, have higher levels of estrogen which make it very difficult for women to become “big and bulky.” When women lift weights, the changes to their muscles are mostly related to tone (less fat and more lean body mass), strength, and endurance rather than size. The resulting look is firm, feminine toning; not bulky masculine muscles.
Top 3 Health Benefits
- You will be able to perform tasks of daily living easier
- Anyone else have a 35+ pound toddler that still wants to be carried around?
- Bone Health
- Due to hormonal changes that women experience as we age, we naturally lose bone density. Consistent strength training slows bone weakening and can actually help your bones grow stronger, reducing your chance of developing osteoporosis.
- Resistance training may increase resting metabolism up to 7 % and help minimize muscle loss as we age.
What are the Recommendations for Strength Training?
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that a strength training program should be performed a minimum of two non-consecutive days (to help with muscle growth and recovery) each week, with one set of 8 to 12 repetitions for healthy adults.
Let’s Get Started
This will be easier then you think. If you have never been to a gym or done any type of strength training, start with BODY WEIGHT training. Using your own body weight for resistance is an excellent way to increase muscular strength. Think: pushups, pullups, lunges, and abdominal crunches are among the simplest exercises that use body weight.
If you are or have been utilizing body weight training for a while it might be time to move up to FREE WEIGHTS, RUBBER TUBING, OR WEIGHT MACHINES. Free weights would include: dumbbells, weight bars, or barbells. For me getting to the gym and working after having my son just didn’t fit into the schedule, so we decided to purchase some free weights and rubber tubing at sporting goods store or on local Facebook resale page. Many fitness centers offer circuit-style weight machines targeting different muscle areas of the body. Ask for assistance in using the machines for the first time or follow the diagrams on the equipment.
Don’t like gyms. No worries!
Slowly build an at home gym and use free or low cost apps, purchase an on-line video program, look for a favorite trainer on YouTube or check out an exercise program from the library can be easy way to start weight training today!
Lastly, don’t be afraid to start a strength training program! Start with light weights until you are comfortable with the exercise or lift and then slowly increase your weight every time you do that lift.
I love having a workout partner! She keeps me motivated, encourages me to keep challenging myself to add more weight, and to help keep me accountable to good form.
Before you know it you will notice a more toned look and picking up those little toddlers will be easier.