The TRUTH About Strength Training Recovery



The Truth About Strength Training

Woman in gym lifting small/light dumbells
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Don't fear the dumbbells—strength training is not only beneficial for women, it's essential. As women age, they naturally lose muscle that's important for overall body functioning, says Polly de Mille, a clinical exercise physiologist and administrative director of the Women's Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Incorporating strength training—which means using some sort of resistance to get stronger—into your weekly routine will replace this necessary muscle. And don't worry: Contrary to popular belief, you won't end up looking like Mr. T!


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Not sure it's for you? Think again. Here are the full-body health benefits:

1. Bone density
Weight-bearing exercise is the way to go in order to build strong bones and avoid fractures, says Felicia Cosman, MD, president of the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

2. Brain function
In a recent study of women ages 65 to 75, those who did just an hour or two of strength training exercises each week—using dumbbells and weight machines—had improved cognitive function a year later.

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3. Self-esteem
Research has shown that women who strength-train were found to have increased confidence and self-esteem soon after, says De Mille.

4. Metabolism
As you get older, especially after the age of 30, you lose half a pound of muscle mass each year. That translates to a .5 reduction in basal metabolic rate, which means you're burning fewer calories even at rest.

5. Overall strength
Strength training will make everyday activities (such as lifting a heavy bag of groceries) much easier, says Jay Cardiello, a certified trainer in New York City.


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Unfortunately, many women steer away from strength training because of common misconceptions. Here's the truth:

1. It willnotbulk you up like those bodybuilders you see on TV. According to De Mille, women don't have the hormonal capacity to naturally get that big.

2. It will make you look smaller, not larger. A pound of fat is about the size of a softball, but a pound of muscle is only as big as a baseball. The more fat you replace with lean muscle, the slimmer you'll appear.

3. It doesn't have to involve heavy weights. Your muscles can't tell where the weight is coming from, so using other items like resistance bands, medicine balls or even your own body weight can be just as effective.

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Convinced yet? Good. Here's how to get started:

If you belong to a gym, consider scheduling an appointment with a trainer so that you can learn the proper form for free weights and machines, or take a group exercise class where guided instruction is offered. Start by training only once a week, then build up to the recommended two to three times per week. Don't overdo it; your muscles need at least one day of rest between workouts. If you're an at-home exerciser, try these other options:

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Date: 01.12.2018, 16:43 / Views: 43383