Women, more so than men, are often a little nervous about weight training and muscle building workouts. We don’t want to look bulky (or too muscular). So we end up on the cardio equipment.
At the same time, we admit that one of the reasons we exercise is to look younger. You know, the clear, glowy skin, shiny hair and firm physique.
But here’s the kicker. Women don’t have the hormones required to build the bulky muscles we see on men (not without some serious supplementation and performance enhancing drugs).
And actually, muscle is the true fountain of youth. Here’s what happens when you build muscle:
- You increase your strength.
- You increase your lean body mass and reduce your body fat.
- You increase your metabolic rate. Extreme dieting is not the answer to weight loss, building more muscle is, as it increases your metabolic rate, which burns more calories, even at rest.
- You improve your bone density. And healthy bone density is an important factor in maintaining good posture (so you don’t look aged!), and in preventing injuries and keeping aches and pains at bay. Osteoporosis is a condition that’s prevalent in middle-aged women; maintaining a healthy bone density is a smart way to avoid the onset of the condition.
- You boost your natural growth hormone production, as well as testosterone production. Growth hormone is what stimulates your cells to grow (rather than simply aging themselves). And when you have higher levels of testosterone, you’ll have more energy and your metabolic rate will be higher too, meaning you’ll burn off calories faster.
- You lower your insulin resistance, thereby lowering your risk of developing diabetes
The trick to building muscle is to follow a resistance or weight training programme, coupled with a sensible eating plan.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Co-Publisher at Maverick Media and until recently, Fitness Magazine editor. Tanja now manages multiple digital platforms, consults and create exciting campaigns and opportunities in the fitness industry. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.