Strength training has many benefits for female athletes. These 10 will help show you exactly why it needs to be a part of your life.
1. Strength training lowers the risk of breast cancer
Strength training has been know to reduce the high estrogen levels linked to the disease.
“Strength training and exercise can reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back (recurrence) if you’ve been diagnosed, as well as reducing the risk of developing breast cancer if you’ve never been diagnosed.” Breastcancer.org
2. Reduce the risk of injury
Doing strength training will make you more resilient and can help to increase your flexibility and movement, all factors that can reduce the risk of injury. As an athlete, you are constantly faced with more risks to injury than non-athletes and therefore must work more in ensuring that your body is strong enough to withstand small forces that can easily cause you harm.
“Strong people are harder to kill” Mark Rippetoe
3. Increase self-confidence
Self-confidence is an important trait to develop both as an athlete and for life in general. There are many young talented athletes out there that do not go further in their fields because of lack of confidence. Strength training keeps the body active and strong, which also develops self-confidence in an individual. Learning new lifts and shifting weights that looked impossible 6 months ago breeds tremendous feelings of confidence and pride.
4. Improve your mental attitude and fight depression
An increased self-confidence is not the only mental benefit of strength training. Staying active and being physically strong can help greatly in improving your attitude and overall outlook on life. Being physically aware of your health can help keep you in a good mood. Being on a feel-good attitude regularly can help fight away any threats of depression. Strength training also releases endorphins which can help keep you happy.
5. Stay young
The aging process causes cells to deteriorate, and consequently, they need more time to repair themselves. Building muscle has the great effect of slowing this process, allowing you to feel and look younger for as long as you keep lifting.
6. Increase your metabolism and burn more fat
Another advantage is that your metabolism will increase. This means that even when you are resting, with a larger muscle mass you burn more calories and fat that a female with a lower muscle mass. Burning fat while you sit and read, or watch the latest episode of your series: sounds good doesn’t it?
7. Improve power generation
Strength training can improve your ability to generate power. Being stronger will allow you to move weight and perform lifts with speed. Work to increase your Squat 1 rep max and suddenly those lighter thrusters might start feeling even lighter. Power is incredibly important for Crossfit, and strength training is an ideal way to develop yours.
8. Prevent disease
Strength training does not only improve your physical strength generally. It also helps keep your body well-maintained and healthy. Being physically active has always been known to be physically beneficial and one of these benefits is the prevention of many types of diseases. Strength training can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, lower blood pressure and increase your V02 max, all great news if you plan on staying healthy.
9. Stress relief
Annoying boyfriend? Bad day at work? Strength training is a good source of stress relief. When you are exercising, your body produces more endorphins or feel-good hormones than regular. This is why you will generally feel better after a good workout session.
10. Improved sleep
Strength training is tiring, and if you aren’t knackered at the end of the session then you aren’t doing it right. This type of training will help to exhaust yourself both physically and mentally, which in turn will help you sleep when you get into bed.
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