When you hit the gym, what do you focus on? If you’re like a lot of women, you do some stretching and then you hit the cardio machines or the track, or you head straight into a cardio-centric class like Zumba or spin class. There’s nothing wrong with cardiovascular exercise, but entirely too many women focus solely on cardio while ignoring resistance training (also called strength training).
Many women feel that they don’t need resistance training because it doesn’t burn calories the way that cardio does, or they fear that they’ll get big and bulky if they lift heavy weights. The truth is, though, everyone needs resistance training – especially women!
First of all, as we age, women are at a much higher risk for osteoporosis than men. This can lead to brittle bones, which can result in mobility problems and injuries. Fortunately, though, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis with resistance training. It strengthens muscles and increases bone density for healthier bones well into your later years.
Burn More Calories – Even When You’re Not Working Out
Fighting osteoporosis isn’t the only reason you should incorporate resistance training into your regular workout regimen, either. When you work on your strength with this kind of exercise, you’ll increase your muscle mass, and muscle burns more calories than fat. That means you can increase the number of calories you burn per hour when you’re at rest, so you can continue to lose weight or maintain your current weight without further restrictions on your diet.
You Won’t Get “Big and Bulky”
Finally, there’s no need to fear that you’ll become as big or muscular as the female bodybuilders you’ve seen on TV and online. Those women specifically work very hard to get their bodies to look the way they do, and that process involves hours upon hours at the gym every day, incredibly high-calorie diets, diet supplements, and a lot more. When you add some resistance training to your workout, you won’t get “bulky”, but you will get more defined and leaner while getting stronger to do the things you love to do with less effort.
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