Top 10 weight training benefits for women

Here are the top weight training benefits you can expect if you do it regularly. You'll find weight training, if it's systematic and consistent, will help you in every aspect of your life.

1. You'll reduce body fat … for good.

When you train with weights, you'll speed up your metabolism as a natural result. What happens is this: you put more pressure on your muscles than they're used to. Your body counteracts this pressure by making your muscles stronger. It builds more muscle tissue so your muscles can withstand the pressure next time. This process uses up a lot more calories than usual, and that's why your metabolism works faster.

Here's the beautiful thing about it: your muscles are very active body tissue. Having more of that kind of tissue definitely forces your body to burn more calories – even while you sleep. This fact, combined with proper nutrition, will keep your fat burning process cranking.

2. You'll end up with a well-defined but still feminine body.

You'll look a lot leaner since muscles take up less space than fat. And weight training is the best way to tone up trouble spots, like under the arms, thighs and belly.

But don't worry – unlike men, you're not likely to become bulky. You just don't have enough of the right hormones which help cause huge muscles in men.

3. You'll improve your self-image.

Few things improve self-image more than having a lean attractive body. Not many activities change the body in a positive way as quickly and effectively as weight training. You can't help feeling attractive and confident as a result.

4. Weight training can help prevent back pain.

Most people suffer from back pain at some time in their lives. In many cases, this is caused by the spine being unstable because the muscles in the back, legs and abdomen are weak.. Having strong muscles can stop this problem happening.

5. Working out with weights can help prevent osteoporosis.

Women who've gone through the menopause tend to experience rapid bone loss. This can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a serious health problem in which your bones are brittle and easily broken. You can prevent this by regular weight bearing exercises combined with good nutrition.

6. Weight training can help prevent breast cancer.

One of the risk factors of breast cancer is obesity. Exercising with weights can help you get rid of that risk by keeping your body fat low.

7. You will have improved overall health and quality of life.

Muscles make up about 45 percent of your body mass. Exercises that strengthen your muscles will definitely improve your overall fitness. Being fit makes you feel great!

8. You'll have more strength.

Another of these great weight training benefits is that you'll be able to do everyday chores more easily – and definitely with more energy. Things like going up and down stairs, working in the garden, carrying heavy things (even children) get a lot easier.

9. As you get older, you'll look and feel a lot younger than your peer group.

After the age of 30, most women start to lose their muscle mass year by year. To put it bluntly, they get more flabby. Weight lifting will help prevent this. You'll stay firm in your older age.

10. You don't need to spend hours exercising.

In fact, two or three 30- to 45-minute weight training sessions a week will give you great results. It suits your busy lifestyle and still gives you all the weight training benefits listed here.

Now that you know at least some of the weight training benefits, go ahead and train hard.

Please check out my muscle toning workouts.

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Fahey, T.D. (2010) Basic Weight Training For Men & Women, 7th edition, New York: McGraw-Hill.

Schuler, L. (2009), The New Rules of Lifting for Women, New York: Penguin.