Weight training consists of simple exercises that strengthen bones and muscles by placing heaviness on the bones, which in turn strengthens them. Lifting things will place pressure on the bones, like resistance bands, dumbbell lifts, or even picking up grocery bags. You also strengthen the bones anytime you use your body weight, like push ups and lunges. Weight bearing exercise is important for everyone, but women are more prone to bone loss, especially those who are post-menopausal, and anyone at any age can begin weight bearing exercises to gain bone strength. Along with gaining bone strength and why it is important, we will also look at other reasons why women should be performing this type of exercise.
To expound on bone loss, we must look at Osteoporosis in women. Our bones are living matter, and they are constantly renewing themselves. When new bone growth does not keep up with the rate that the old bone is being lost, we lose bone density, and this puts us at risk for fracture. You can actually prevent bone loss, or stop it from occurring, with weight bearing exercise, a healthy diet, and supplements.
Strength and Metabolism –
Aside from losing bone, women are disposed to losing up to seven pounds of muscle for each ten year period that they do not exercise, especially weight bearing exercise. This muscle loss is also the reason that women develop a slow metabolism, which causes our bodies to slow in burning calories, and weight sometimes becomes an issue as we age.
Brain Function –
Research from a study conducted in British Columbia found that strength training also improved brain function in the women who participated. The women were shown to have better skills in decision making, problem solving and overall memory. With over five million people being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the United States each year, this is great news in slowing down its progression.
Glucose and Cholesterol –
Absorbing glucose is crucial to preventing diabetes in adults. Also, tests have shown that cholesterol levels will lower after strength training over several weeks, which reduces the chance of having a heart attack.
Overall Health –
Aside from the aforementioned benefits of stronger bones, increased muscle strength, metabolism, greater brain function, and improved glucose and cholesterol levels, weight bearing exercise has also proven to improve the quality of life in women. A study published by the Journal of Women and Aging stated that a strength training schedule of three times a week greatly improved the quality of life in women of all ages who participated in a study on weight bearing exercise.