While combining healthy eating habits with aerobic exercise will slim down a woman’s body, there’s no better way for a woman to transform her physique than through strength training. Besides being a quick and effective way for a woman to tone and sculpt her body, strength training offers many other benefits, making it key to overall health and fitness.
Why Strength Training Works for Women
The basic way strength training works in toning and sculpting a woman’s body is that strength training causes change in the body by overloading the muscles and stimulating muscle growth, which forces the muscles to respond and develop. Regular and consistent strength training will increase muscle mass. Increased muscle mass doesn’t mean that a woman’s body will bulk up, which is a very popular myth among women. What it does mean is that the body requires more energy to maintain this new muscle, burning more calories throughout the day, even while at rest. What it also means is since muscle takes up less space than fat, the body will have a more toned physique. A good example of this is if the fat in the upper arms is replaced with muscle, the upper arms will get smaller. Women can engage in strength training using resistance bands, free weights, weight machines or through the use of body weight.
Other Benefits of Strength Training for Women
In addition to reshaping the body, other benefits of strength training include:
- Reduces body fat
- Develops strong bones, thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis
- Helps combat cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure
- Increases energy levels
- Helps the body fight stress
- Improves mood and overall sense of well-being
- Promotes better sleep
- Increases stamina and endurance
- Helps to prevent injury
- Improves balance and flexibility
How Much Strength Training is Enough for Women
Women who strength train at least 30 minutes every other day should start seeing the benefits of resistance training within just a few short weeks. Results should be measured by inches lost and not necessarily by body weight as the scale often doesn’t reflect right away the changes that occur from strength training.
Results from strength training can happen quickly, but not if the majority of a woman’s diet consists of processed foods. A woman who strength trains should ensure she has a healthy diet, consisting of complex carbs, lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
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