Weight Training for Bone Health

Increasing and maintaining adequate muscle mass is one of the most effective ways to keep body fat at bay and to improve overall health and fitness, especially as you age.

Your body is continually removing old bone and replacing it throughout all stages of your life. Peak bone mass (or bone density), which is our maximum bone size and strength is reached by around age 30.

Bone loss in women occurs fastest in the first few years following menopause and it continues as we age. For most women bone loss can be slowed through good nutrition and exercise.

Here’s why women should do weights:

You’ll strengthen your bones
Weight training doesn’t just train your muscles it trains your bones as well. Recent studies show that even moderate weights training twice per week can increase a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 per cent.

You reduce your risk of injury
Building stronger connective tissues and joint stability is paramount for females. Females post-birth have a wider pelvis which can throw out the correct alignment of joints and bones. Without doing resistance training this can directly lead to orthopaedic injuries, especially through the spine and pelvis.

You’ll have a healthier heart
Cardiovascular exercise isn’t the only exercise that’s good for your heart. Strength training can enhance your heart health too, studies have shown that people who performed up to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity resistance training lowered their blood pressure by 20 per cent.

 You’ll burn more calories
As your muscle tissue tears when you place it under load, it then repairs itself after a weight session. Your muscles need food for recovery to regain strength. So, the more muscle you have, the hungrier you are. Research shows that resistance training is a proven method for increasing lean body mass and reducing body fat for women.

You become stronger mentally and boost your self-confidence
Women who strength train commonly state that they feel more confident and capable. Typically, if coupled with good quality nutrition, it makes you stronger, leaner, more muscular and fitter which in turn makes you feel more positive about yourself. But aside from aesthetics, it can also benefit you emotionally as endorphins are released which stimulates feelings of happiness.

You achieve that ‘sculpted’ look
Contrary to popular belief, getting toned does not come solely from cardio! It comes from weights as well. Both men and women don’t just exercise because it’s good for their heart, it makes their bodies look more aesthetic also. While cardio has many benefits for your heart, it won’t help give you that tight and toned look many of us aspire to.

How much strength training do you need?
It is recommended that women do resistance training at least two days per week. Researchers say that post-menopausal women should partake in weight training or weight-bearing exercise three times per week (on alternate days). If you are new to resistance training, start training with a personal trainer a couple of days a week to ensure you learn the correct technique etc. and work your way up from there.

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