If you ask a female what her fitness goals are she would likely say losing weight, decreasing body fat, muscle tone, getting stronger and having more energy. But often women try and achieve these goals by focusing on long duration, low intensity activities that cannot provide these benefits.
Many of these women miss out on the incredible health benefits that proper strength training exercise has to offer because of the misleading myths and misconceptions about this type of exercise. Many still mistakenly believe that strength training will give them big bulky muscles but this is not based on facts but fiction.
You shouldn’t buy into those old outdated perceptions about strength training making you big and bulky. Women simply do not have the necessary hormones that men have so your fears of getting big are unfounded.
If you have fat to lose or are overweight it is likely that you are already bigger than you would like to be. The fat is the enemy here not the fat burning muscle tissue under the excess fat. Blame any size and bulkiness on that.
Regular strength training will increase your strength and toned muscle tissue if done with the correct amount of intensity (degree of effort) but this is what you want to happen to promote an increase in your metabolic rate (the rate your body burns fuel). If you allow your muscles to become weak and flabby their energy requirements become low and this is when excess body fat starts to accumulate.
As you get stronger your strength training program will be creating for you a firmer, more toned body as it will help you burn more calories both when you are active and when you are sleeping or resting. It is what will promote positive changes in your body composition (muscle/fat ratio) to enhance your metabolism unmatched by any other type of exercise or activity.
After age 30 lean muscle tissue cannot be maintained by low intensity repetitive exercise alone. It is this loss of muscle (around half a pound per year) that allows us to become overweight as energy requirements decrease. So, the very best thing you can do is rev up your metabolic rate with proper strengthening exercise.
Increased body strength and toned muscles go hand-in-hand. Imagine how great it will feel when you can perform physical tasks easier – such as rearranging the living room furniture without help or carrying the groceries and your sleeping child into the house at the same time? And the bonus is as those muscles get stronger you will also notice a difference in how you look as well, with less flabby fat and more a firmer tighter body.
Your strengthening program will also benefit other body parts such as your bones and joints and as your muscles become stronger they become stronger as well. With osteoporosis a serious health threat for women it makes good sense to strengthen and make as healthy as possible the skeleton – the very foundation of the body..
If you are not already strength training get yourself started so you too can enjoy the multitude of health benefits so you can achieve your full potential as a strong, fit, slim and healthy woman.
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By Carolyn Hansen