Beyond Walking: The Importance of Strength Training for Women's Health
Walking is a great form of exercise that provides many benefits to our overall health and wellbeing. It's easy, accessible, and low impact, making it a perfect exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels. However, while walking is an excellent activity, it's not the only exercise we should be doing to maintain a healthy body, especially as we age. In fact, for women in particular, a well-rounded exercise program should include strength training, and here's why.
As we age, our bodies undergo many changes that can affect our physical abilities, including a gradual loss of muscle mass and bone density. This can lead to a condition known as sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle tissue and strength that occurs as we age. Sarcopenia is more common in women than men, and it can lead to a range of health problems, including a higher risk of falls, fractures, and other injuries.
Strength training is essential for women, especially as we age, because it can help prevent and even reverse sarcopenia. When we strength train, we put our muscles under stress, which triggers a process called muscle protein synthesis. This process involves the creation of new muscle proteins, which helps to increase muscle mass, strength, and endurance. Regular strength training can also improve bone density, which can help prevent osteoporosis and other bone-related health problems.
Moreover, strength training has been shown to have many other health benefits for women, including improved insulin sensitivity, better heart health, and a reduced risk of certain types of cancer. It can also help to increase metabolism, which can aid in weight loss and weight management.
It's worth noting that strength training doesn't mean you have to become a bodybuilder or lift heavy weights. There are many different types of strength training exercises that you can do, from bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats to resistance band workouts and weightlifting. The important thing is to find a form of strength training that you enjoy and that challenges your muscles.
To sum up, while walking is an excellent exercise for our overall health and wellbeing, it's important to remember that a well-rounded exercise program should include strength training, especially for women as we age. Strength training can help prevent and reverse sarcopenia, improve bone density, and provide many other health benefits, making it an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. So, let's lace up our walking shoes and pick up some weights to keep our bodies strong and healthy for years to come!
Donna M., Exercise Physiologist