|This is how it's done!|
Here is another article from a mainstream news site emphasizing the need for resistance training for women. Of course there is nothing new here. Just stuff we have known for years, however it is always good to see sound information out in the mainstream instead of all the marketing hype that we generally see. When it comes to training for women, there are no secrets, no magical special women's workout. But in spite of the fact that so much good information is out there, it is often drowned in a sea of myths. This is a sound and simple review of some basics.
A majority of women spend their time in the gym focusing on cardio with little or no resistance training. However, resistance training or strength training is just as important if not more important for women as it is for men.
• Fight osteoporosis. The Centers for Disease Control reports that over 50 percent of post-menopausal women suffer from some degree of osteoporosis. This is because a change in the hormonal balance leads to the female body literally breaking down its own bone mass. If bone density is increased over a prolonged period before this, the risks of osteoporosis are greatly reduced. Resistance training does exactly that. Repeated use of muscles attached to bones through resistance training leads to thickening of the bone mass, which can delay and possibly avoid the onset of osteoporosis.
• Strength training reduces body fat. Cardiovascular exercise (running, walking, biking, elliptical training) burns fat, but not all the calories burned will be from fat. Some calories will be from carbohydrate, some from protein and typically, up to 50 percent from fat.
Conversely, resistance training places a much greater stress on the muscles and as a result, when you finish your workout your body begins to repair the microscopic damage that has occurred, leading to an increase in your metabolism while this process takes place. Studies have shown that this can last up to 36 hours after a resistance workout. If you add cardio to this resistance mix, you'll gain the benefits of both.
• Strength training significantly improves neuromuscular activity. Each muscle is made up of thousands of separate fibers, which are grouped together into bundles. Each bundle of these fibers are triggered by their own nerve. When lifting or moving a weight, your brain will initially only trigger the muscle bundles it thinks it needs. With regular resistance training, your brain and neural system will adapt and learn to recruit more muscle bundles with each movement. This leads to a much more effective use of the body's muscle tissue, and greatly reduces the risk of posture-related injuries and conditions.
• Training with resistance strengthens tendons providing joint support. The fibers in our muscles join to form tendons, which connect muscle to bone. This allows us to create movement. Resistance training develops both the muscle fibers and the muscle tendons. Where a tendon crosses a joint, this assists the ligaments in supporting the joint, reducing the chances of injury from a trip, slip or fall.
Aim to do resistance work within your exercise program 2 to 3 times a week. You can't afford not to.
— Angie Ferguson is an exercise physiologist from Fort Myers. She is a USA Triathlon Advanced Level 2 coach, USA Cycling coach and has a Specialty in Sports Nutrition certification. For more training tips, read her blog at www.triathlontrainingisfun.com or contact her at gearedup.biz.