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Many women seem to shy away from weight lifting, perhaps because they associate it with the ripped, muscular masculine form. It’s not seen as a feminine sport at all. In fact, the National Center for Health Statistics says that only 21% of women take part in any kind of strength training.
But ladies – it’s time to make a change! Weight training is very beneficial to women’s health for a number of reasons:
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1. A Healthier Heart
Women sometimes forget that heart disease isn’t just a men’s health issue – and weight training can reduce some risk factors. It’s been shown to help decrease LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and raise the level of “good” HDL cholesterol.
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2. Better Blood-Glucose Control
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Concerned about diabetes? Several studies have shown that weight lifting can help improve blood glucose control. It’s been suggested that those with type-2 diabetes can actually improve their glucose levels with weight training.
There is also some evidence that weight training can decrease the risk of later developing type-2 diabetes.
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3. Lose Body Fat
On average, women who weight train 2-3 times a week for two months will lose 3.5 pounds of fat while gaining two pounds of muscle.
4. Feel Empowered!
The ability to lift heavy weights is a serious boost to the self-esteem. As you build strength, you also build your self-confidence, and the world will recognize your new attitude just as much as your leaner, more toned body.
5. Sleep Better
According to researchers in Australia, people who trained with weights 3 times a week over an 8-week period found they had a 23% improvement in the quality of their sleep.
The participants in the study found that not only did they fall asleep faster, they were able to sleep longer.
6. Protects Against Injury
Weight training helps strengthen muscles – including your core – which improves balance and protects the joints from injury.
This is especially important for mature women; preventing injuries is vital for ensuring an active, healthy lifestyle.
7. Better Stability
We all know that falling can cause serious injury. Again, for older women especially, preventing falls is important for continued good health. Strong muscles help improve balance, reducing the risk of falls.
8. Increased Bone Strength
Osteoporosis is a major health risk, more so in women than in men. A steady regimen of weight training can help improve bone density, slowing or even reversing the effects of aging on our skeletal system.
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