The importance of Strength Training for Women
Updated: Aug 9, 2022
1. Bone Health
Many people know the complications around having brittle bones and easy fractures, the common joke regarding older ladies breaking a hip.
In Australia, 1 in 2 women over the age of 60 will have a fracture related to osteoporosis.
This is because changes in hormones (particularly estrogen) throughout menopause directly affect and reduce bone mineral density, contributing to osteoporosis and fractures.
Another scary statistic people are unaware of is that after a fracture not only does chances of refracture increase, but mortality rate also increases.
This is where correctly prescribed strength training is powerful - by directly loading your bones strength training and elicit the following benefits:
Stronger muscles AND bones
Reduced risk of getting osteoporosis
Preserved bone mass
Reduced rate of bone loss
Improve balance, posture and coordination
Reduced risk of falls and fracture.
2. Mental Health
Everybody is aware of the importance of mental health and wellbeing and how this can impact your social, family and work life, however there are many people who still experience ill mental health.
In fact, 1 in 6 women in Australia will experience depression and 1 in 3 women will experience anxiety.
The good news is that there has been a strong link between regular exercise and managing and preventing these conditions.
Ever heard of the term ‘go and take out some of that frustration?’....Strength training and exercise relieve your stress and anxiety, boost your mood and improve your sleep!
3. Heart Health
Been to your doctors lately and been told you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol? Or maybe even high blood sugar levels? Only to be prescribed a couple pills to fix the problem?
Strength training and exercise is linked to:
Reduced risk of heart disease
Improved regulation of blood sugar levels
Reduced risk of coronary artery disease
So I’m not sure about you, but if someone told me that guidelines recommend 2 (or more) strength training sessions per week to improve my heart health (PLUS additional health benefits mentioned), rather than relying on prescribed medication for the rest of my life, I know what I would be doing.
Do you ever walk down the street and see older women walking hunched over, or rely on your husband or male friend to come and do a house job perhaps on a ladder, or above head? Or you’re finding yourself unable to lift or carry objects as well as you used to. Or maybe it’s getting hard to play and keep up with your children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews.
Correctly prescribed exercise can improve your independence by improving your ability to lift and carry, get up a flight of stairs easier, get up and down from the ground easier, get up and down in the garden easier and reduce your pain whilst doing these activities.
5. FEEL GOOD, LOOK GOOD
No, lifting weights and pulling cables will not make you bulky ladies. If you ask many males that pump iron, hit the gym 5+ times a week for 2 hours or more, I’m sure they will tell you how hard it is for them to get bulky (whilst they eat more protein than what’s on an angus cattle station).
In fact, by increasing your muscular strength not only are you improving your body composition but also increasing your resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy you burn at rest). The higher your resting metabolic rate, the more energy you burn at rest, and therefore the better your chances at fat loss and improving your body composition.