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Strength training has been proven to benefit all populations and it is absolutely essential if we wish to change the look of our bodies.

Women especially reap huge benefits both physically and mentally from weight bearing exercise. Strength training creates strong ligaments and tendons, which serve to support the joints and decrease the likelihood of injury from other activities. It is the best thing a woman can do to reduce her risk of osteoporosis because working with weights increases bone density. Strength training also increases your metabolism as well because by creating muscle tissue, you are creating tissue that is active and uses energy (calories) even when at rest. And maybe one of the sweetest surprise benefits of strength training for women is the confidence and sense of control it can give you, not to mention the ability to perform daily activities that require lifting with ease. (No more waiting for your husband to get home to open a jar!)

So how many of you women out there are afraid that if you lift weights you will get muscles that are too big? This is a common fear and nothing more than a myth. The vast majority of women cannot build large muscles because it is a genetic impossibility to do so. Women have high levels of the hormone estrogen and so the increase in muscle size that men (who have high levels of testosterone) have can never be the same for women.

When women strength train they will see a difference in muscle tone, strength and endurance and not necessarily in size. Do not be afraid of the weights, ladies, strength training is something wonderful that you can do for your body!

Another common myth is that you need to lose your fat before working on toning your muscle. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are overweight and wanting to lose fat, you should be performing weight-bearing exercise along with cardiovascular exercise. By challenging your muscles with weights you are burning more calories than if you did cardio alone, you are building muscle tissue which in turn burns fat for fuel and you are less likely to have droopy skin from losing weight because you will have the toned muscle underneath.

A routine consisting of cardio activities such as walking, jogging, aerobic classes, etc. combined with lifting weights is without a doubt the most effective way to achieve your weight loss goals. We all know that women today are very busy. Have no fear because strength training need not be time consuming. A good weight-training workout can take as little as 20 minutes. Some things to consider; do not be afraid of challenging your muscles! You want to feel challenged when you are lifting weights. For example, if you are doing bicep curls and aiming for 12 repetitions, you should be feeling them by the tenth repetition and the twelfth should be very challenging. If you are not challenging your muscles than you are wasting your time and energy! Also, it is important to work all major muscle groups to keep your muscles in balance. In other words, you would not only want to do bicep curls, you want to also work your triceps so that the final result is the nice toned and proportionate look your going for.

For the safest, most effective program, seek the advice of fitness professional. You can also pick up a book or For the safest, most effective program, seek the advice of fitness professional. You can also pick up a book or video on the subject or join a gym. Get yourself familiar with strength training and get started! It is a decision you will not regret!

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