Resistance Training Vs. Cardio
Resistance training is so important for women to add to their workout regimen. Cardio is so popular and the easy thing that seems to get done without a thought. If a day is going to be skipped, for a lot of women, it ends up being a resistance day. Some of the reasoning behind this is that they want to burn more calories because they had a busy day of doing nothing and cardio just makes sense and another reason may be because they aren’t comfortable with resistance training - the idea that it is known as a masculine activity sets them back. Do either of these reasoning ring a bell for you?
6 reasons why resistance/strength training is important for women and why it should be a priority to have in your routine.
Helps you lose fat
Resistance/Strength training is so important for fat loss. When you put physical stress on your muscles during a training session, you break them down, causing them to repair and build during the day(s) you are resting. This process requires energy, which means your body is going to break down carbohydrates and fats from foods you eat and from nutrients stored in your body. This allows your body to burn calories more efficiently and effectively at rest.
What is toning up? It’s building lean mass in your body - muscle. In order to get the lean and sexy muscle definition you need to focus on strength training. When it comes to this type of training, progressive overload is going to help you reach your goal. This means increasing your intensity/volume lifted overtime. It will help you grow and build strength and muscle safely and effectively.
A study (Ludin, A.F.M. et al 2015) with 30 participants showed that after 10 weeks of high intensity progressive resistance training there were positive changes in DHEA, which is a hormone that can help relieve stress and improve your mood. So not only does aerobic/cardio help with stress relief, but resistance/strength training can also aid in it.
Resistance training can help you prevent injury in your daily activities. It helps you create a balance in your muscles, and strengthens the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. When your muscles and tendons are strong, they can help support the body during movement. With ligaments and bones getting stronger, they’ll be able to better withstand the impact that your body takes on.
Improves bone density
Osteoporosis is when your bone density decreases and causes your bones to become weak and fragile. When it comes to exercise, it is recommended that weight bearing exercises (strength training) are best for bone health. This type of physical activity helps activate bone remodeling.
Post menopausal women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men due to the changes in hormones. So it is important to begin resistance training to help your body build its strength, improve bone density, improve coordination, and to help prevent falls from occurring in your older age.
A study by Wallace and Ballard showed a correlation between lean body mass (muscle) and bone health. Individuals who had more lean mass, were regularly physically active and showed greater bone health.
There is something about building strength that causes you to walk a bit taller. It could be that with the right strength program you improved your posture, or maybe it’s because you feel good about knowing what you are doing in the gym (in a world that is known to be more masculine), you feel happier and have more energy to power through your day, you can move better because everyday tasks are easier, and on top of that, and you begin to appreciate your body as you learn how to better care for it.
MAT LUDIN, ARIMI FITR, et al. “The Effects of High Intensity Progressive Resistance Training on Psychological Stress and Biochemicals Parameters.” Jurnal Sains Kesihatan Malaysia, vol. 13, no. 2, 2015, pp. 53–60., doi:10.17576/jskm-2015-1302-06.
Wallace LS, Ballard, JE. Lifetime physical activity and calcium intake related to bone density in women. J Wom Health 11(4): 389-398-2002