Surprise! This May Be The Best Form Of Exercise For Women

Chances are, if you haven’t started lifting weights, it may be because you’ve run into the common myths about strength training. And because this form of exercise is often dominated by men, many women overlook the numerous health benefits strength training offers and opt for other forms of exercise.

While it’s good to be cautious when it comes to new forms of exercise, if you give strength training a chance, the results you’ll get will likely keep you hooked. And it isn’t only your appearance that will benefit; strength training also supports overall health with many notable benefits

To provide a more comprehensive look at strength training, Kristin Crea, ATC, manager of GMC’s Sports Medicine Program and the Concussion Institute at GMC-Duluth, shares her expertise.

Building Whole Body Benefits
  • Reducing the symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, back pain and depression 
  • Preventing bone loss, or osteoporosis
  • Supporting heart disease recovery
  • Increasing resting metabolic rate

Myth-Busting on Muscle Building

Myth. Women who lift weights develop huge muscles.

Reality. Not necessarily. For women who follow a sensible weight-training program, the result will be a trim, healthy look, not bulging muscles.

This is because women naturally develop much less muscle mass than do men, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Women have fewer muscle cells, particularly in their arms and shoulders. When either a woman or man works out, muscle cells grow larger, but don't multiply.

Myth. Weight training takes a lot of time.

Reality. You can take as much or as little time as you like. The ACSM recommends doing 8 repetitions to 12 repetitions per exercise at least twice per week. With warm-up and stretching, each session should take only 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

Once you've passed the beginner stage you’ll get stronger only if you lift heavier weights and do more repetitions. Once you’ve gotten as strong, fit, and toned as you want, you can maintain your fitness level by continuing to lift the same amount of weight.

Myth. The scale doesn’t lie.

Reality. Actually, the scale does lie because muscle is more dense than fat. With a weight-training program, combined with a good diet and aerobic exercise, you may lose inches from your waist, thighs, and other trouble spots without losing any pounds. You may even gain a few pounds.

Myth. If a woman stops working out, the muscle will turn into fat.

Reality. Muscle and fat are 2 separate tissues. If you stop working out, your muscle may waste away. Meanwhile, more fat may be stored in already existing fat cells. But one isn’t changed into the other. Even if you stop working out, you can again build muscle whenever you restart weight training.

Finding the Right Fit

The truth is there is no one size fits all when it comes to exercise. While strength training is worth trying, due to the fact that it offers so many benefits, it’s important for find the right exercise for you and your unique health needs. A great way to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your exercise routine, while limiting any injuries or pain, is to have a comprehensive fitness assessment and/or personal training. The experts at GMC’s Fitness & Performance Center are dedicated to helping you find the best exercise program for you to ensure lasting health. 

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