1. Increased bone mineral density
It is important to keep the bones strong, and particularly important for women as women are more likely to develop osteoporosis in the later years compared to men. This is due to several reasons, one being that women have less bone mass compared with men. Resistance exercise increases bone density, reducing the risk of fractures into older age. It is best starting earlier on in life to maintain bone density rather than reaching old age with bone and mobility issues that need to be rectified.
2. Increased physical strength translating into everyday practical tasks
Strength training does what it says, it increases physical strength and therefore this can be applied to everyday life such as carrying heavy boxes, shopping bags etc. with more ease and with less chance of getting injured.
3. Better sleep
Although there are other factors involved in sleep and sleep quality such as age, gender, health, environment and other lifestyle factors, in general exercise is associated with better sleep and sleep quality (Youngstedt and Kline, 2006). Sleep time is when our body recovers and repairs. For myself personally I do tend to sleep better when I have trained. Whether that’s directly related to the training who knows, but either way it can only be a positive thing getting better sleep.
4. Healthier relationship with food
When individuals begin to understand that good healthy wholesome food helps to nourish the body, keep you strong, healthy and energised, many women in particular often then stop looking at food as the enemy and develop a more balanced way of eating.
5. More control over anxiety, low moods and negative thought patterns
from an anecdotal perspective this is the case for many people, including myself. No matter how you are feeling, taking part in exercise in general releases those feel good hormones and automatically lifts the mood allowing you to have more control over negative thought patterns.
6. Shows a person what they can achieve with the body…translating into other areas of life
Many women think that they are unable to lift heavy weight or do a pull up (this is not to generalise, but this is going by what many of my female friends and clients have said), and so to be able to achieve this can give women a great sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and confidence. This can then lead to the realisation that you can do anything you put your mind to, in any aspect of your life.
7. Increased mental resilience
I personally have found that strength training makes me more resilient to set backs and general day to day stressors. increased strength of the body results in increased strength of the mind.
8. Teaches consistency when trying to reach goals
Once you start setting goals within strength training (e.g. ‘I want to do one pull up’ or ‘I want to be able to get out one more repetition the next time I train’) it can become addictive (in a positive way), but to reach those goals you have to be consistent. This trains the mind to be consistent when trying to achieve goals in other areas of life, for example at work or in the home.
9. Better aesthetics
I’ll just firstly point out that this is the LEAST important point because this is just what happens by default when you progress.
Strength training helps to reduce body fat and shape the body (by increasing lean muscle mass). So if this is your goal, then this is one of the most effective ways to do it. There are of course lots of other different types of activities/sports that can effectively “tone” your body such as yoga, boxing, martial arts etc., but either way strength training in general can be rewarding as you are able to reach strength goals whilst changing body composition 😊
How to get started
Start with body weight exercises such as push ups, assisted pull ups etc. and progress up to free-weights (e.g. dumbbells, barbell. Kettle bells). If you aren’t sure how to execute an exercise properly ask a more experienced person to show you or hire a personal trainer for a period of time.