Strength Training Benefits Women Over 40

By: Chuck Smalley

Strength training builds healthy lean muscle and creates an increase in metabolic rate that persists throughout the day. Muscle tissue is naturally active, while stored body fat contributes little to your metabolic rate. Furthermore, when you exercise your muscles with strength training or weight resistance exercises, not only will you burn calories during the exercise period, you will also burn an even greater number of calories for hours afterward as your muscles re-build and recuperate.

Strength training benefits women over 40 in particular. When you combine strength training with aerobic cardiovascular exercise, you will blend a perfect combination for that body you want.

Many women are afraid that lifting weights or strength training will cause them to build bulky muscle and lose their feminine look. This is an inaccurate depiction of the effects a strength training program has on a woman's body. Developing bulky muscles requires high levels of testosterone, which women lack. The more natural response is for a woman's body to become more lean and toned. Your arms and legs will take on an attractive shape and curve.

If left un-checked, women over 40 will gradually lose healthy muscle mass and bone density. Strength training for women over 40 actually helps re-build muscle tissue and increases bone density. Reports also indicate that a moderate strength training program can also combat the effects of diabetes, arthritis, and depression. Your body will be stronger and leaner. You will naturally have more energy and a more positive, confident outlook. Everyday tasks such as carrying groceries, holding children, and climbing stairs all become easier. Strength training also promotes healthy tendons, ligaments, and joint function.

By keeping your sets between 6 to 12 reps, performing 4 to 6 sets per exercise, you will balance the objectives of muscle strength, muscle tone, and muscle endurance. Focus on quality and proper form. Perform each rep slowly. This will assist in proper breathing. Slower reps will also reduce the amount of momentum in the movement, forcing your muscle to work harder for a given amount of weight, thereby enhancing the positive effects, and reducing the risk of injury.

By including strength training in your overall fitness program, you will increase strength, improve the proportion of lean muscle mass to body fat, and you will simply feel better about yourself.

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