Women & Strength Training: Benefits of Strength Training for Women

By Lavanya

Jul 10, 20248 mins read

Women & Strength Training: Benefits of Strength Training for Women

Women's health must be a matter of concern for all. In the majority of households, women are the primary caregivers, the default parents. They do the bulk of heavy lifting when it comes to life. 


But when it comes to looking after themselves, the number of women spending time on themselves is vastly inferior to their male counterparts. Why is that? When we quizzed a random sampling of women on their exercise habits and the health benefits of regular exercise, especially weight lifting, very few had a standard fitness routine. 


Whichever demographic you may fall into, young women and older women can all benefit hugely by having a regular exercise program featuring resistance training. We have discussed this before but one more time, let's see what are the positive impacts of strength training exercises, shall we? 


When you do regular weight training, you:


Women
  • reduce the risk of injury - for older adults, this is something that becomes increasingly important as balance gets affected with age.
  • Bone health and bone density. Older women are susceptible to bone loss, thanks to menopause. The risk of osteoporosis increases exponentially in post-menopausal women. If you want stronger bones to last you till the end, lift weights today.
  • have a positive impact on mental health - even spending as little as 30 minutes thrice a week could have a lasting impact on women's mental health, studies say
  • increase lean muscle mass and improve muscle strength. 
  • reduce blood pressure.  
  • aid glucose metabolism. Good news if you have a family history of diabetes!
  • reduce the risk of dying of heart disease. ​
  • improve cognitive function - doing resistance training regularly improves brain health 
  • reduce body fat and experience weight loss

So, why aren't more women getting into resistance training? 


Despite increased awareness over the past few years about the benefits of strength training for women, only about 20% of women across the globe do regular strength training as a part of their exercise routine. 


What could be preventing women from getting on the strength training bandwagon? What are the possible barriers? 


1. Time 


More often than not, women bear the burden of primary caregiving for their families. This increases exponentially if they are the main breadwinners too. With all the many hats they have to wear during their packed days, no wonder they have little to no time to spare to go to the gym and lift weights. And even if they do decide to take the plunge, the timings of the gym/classes don't often mesh with their schedule. 


2. Expense


Gyms are not cheap. They are also businesses that have bills to pay. And not everyone can afford to put aside a chunk of money every month towards gym fees. While daily walks, the common alternative, is also good for heart health, the benefits of muscle-strengthening activities cannot be overlooked. 


3. Fear 


Fear of dropping the weights on our feet is one felt by most if not everyone walking into the weight room. When you come face to face with the weights and clock in how heavy they actually are (and how fragile your bones are!), it is natural to feel a bit of fear. If you are afraid of free weights, you can use your own body weight to provide resistance. Or use resistance bands. Bodyweight exercises are just as effective and beneficial as weighted ones. 


4. Lack of access


The internet has shrunk the world and brought people together. But it cannot make up for the fact that where you live, there isn't a good gym or trained coach who can work with you. Not all coaches are made the same, after all!  


5. Limited awareness


Despite the plethora of content out there on the benefits of strength training, not everyone is convinced. Women still worry lifting weights will make them appear less feminine or too buked up. This gender-based stigma is still so strong in women's minds that sustained efforts are necessary to break through them. 


Women

Cardiovascular exercise should be a part of every woman's regular fitness routine, no question. For older adults, swimming is often recommended by doctors for the low impact it has on the joints. Brisk walking with good form is important for us all. But that cannot be the only arrow in your exercise arsenal. A good resistance training program is a great way to continue to enjoy good mobility and energy levels so you can take care of everyday tasks with ease. 


We all want to enjoy optimal health for a long time. Nobody envisages a future chained to a bed or dependent on others for our needs. Investing in our health today is the only way to enjoy better health tomorrow.