When it comes to exercise, many women opt for cardio over strength training.
Though cardio fitness is extremely important, it is equally important to build strength, especially for women.
The good news is you can add simple exercises into your routine from the comfort of your own home.
“Using Gatorade bottles or water bottles for weights would be a good way to implement strength training at home,” said Lauren Stokes, family nurse practitioner at TMCOne. “Use your own body weight as well with planks, squats and pushups. While gyms are closed, this is the perfect time to get creative.”
Before starting any fitness routine, check with your doctor, especially if you have a chronic condition.
Stokes shared three reasons strength training is important.
It can help prevent osteoporosis
Every day, your body breaks down old bones and replaces it with new bones. As you get older, more bone is lost than gained. If you lose too much, you can develop osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak, brittle and prone to breaking.
It is common for women to develop osteoporosis, especially after menopause, due to dropping estrogen levels. However, adding some strength training to your routine can help.
“Strength training initiates bone remodeling,” Stokes said. “This leads to an increase in bone density and a lower risk of osteoporosis.”
It can slow muscle loss with aging
Losing muscle mass is a natural part of aging. However, if you lose too much, you can have problems with your gait, balance and ability to perform daily tasks.
When you perform resistance exercises such as weight lifting or using resistance bands, the tension on your muscle fibers results in growth signals that increase strength. It also increases the actions of growth-promoting hormones. This causes muscle cells to grow and repair themselves.
It can improve your mental health
With so much going on in everyday life, women tend to carry more stress than their male counter parts.
A good resistance training session can help improve your mood by releasing endorphins into your body and taking your mind off your troubles, as well as help you gain confidence and sleep well.
A 2018 study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that resistance training also significantly reduces symptoms of depression.
By Lauren Stokes
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