Strength training is a women’s best friend

Sonya Lovell // September 8 // 0 Comments

As a personal trainer, strength training is something that I am super passionate about, particularly for women. As I recovered from cancer treatment and rocketed through menopause, I reaped the benefits of years spent pushing, pulling, lifting and squatting.

My strong and resilient body enabled, and empowered me to cope with the side effects of chemo, menopause and hormone repressing drugs.

Five reasons why I prescribe strength training for my clients

Strength training and weight bearing exercise builds strong bones

In women, from the age of 45 years, bone loss begins to increase to 1-2% per year. This accelerates up to 2-4% per year at the onset of menopause. Weight bearing exercise and strength training helps maintain bone strength, increase muscle strength, balance and co-ordination, which helps to prevent falls in older age.

Lean muscle matters

Strength training and weight bearing, resistance exercise helps you build and maintain lean muscle.  Lean muscle uses up calories really efficiently, and for a longer period post workout than cardio alone. It creates shape in your body and corrects poor posture. It can help control blood sugar and is important for long term disease prevention.

Research suggests lean muscle helps reduce menopausal symptoms

A study by Dr Rosanne Woods, suggested that “women who have a higher lean body mass, may experience protection against the development of vasomotor symptoms (hot flushes), as they progress through menopause”. Resistance training was the determining factor in the research results. And the findings highly recommend strength training as a means to managing and preventing symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats.

Strengthen your mood

Harvard Medical School reports on a study which examined the results of 33 randomised clinical trials, involving more than 1,800 people. The authors of the study found that “people with mild to moderate depression who performed resistance training two or more days a week saw “significant” reductions in their symptoms, compared with people who did not.” It was also suggested that resistance exercises may have significant benefits for those suffering more severe depressive symptoms.

The authors also noted that “people got a mood boost from resistance training, regardless of their health status, how often they performed resistance training, and whether or not they actually got stronger as a result of their workouts.”

Lifting weights (correctly!) is fun

I was a cardio queen before I became a Personal Trainer, I lived for Spin Classes and the occasional run. But I met an amazing PT, who went on to become a mentor for a period of time. It was her who introduced me to strength training. And two things happened. I fell in love with feeling accomplished and strong, after every workout. And my body changed shape in a way it never had before.

I began to look strong, in proportion and my posture improved. I felt strong, confident and proud of my body. It was a massive win win. I love seeing clients experience the same boosted confidence, in all aspects of their life. Along with a change in body shape and posture.

And there you have it. My love of strength training. And why it’s a pillar of all my training programs and the way that I work with my clients. Want to learn more, or to enquire about training with me? Easy, schedule a 15 minute chat with me here.

About the Author Sonya Lovell

Helping women in their midlife learn to love their body, food and exercise again. I'm a passionate (and at times fierce!) advocate for women’s health, equality, rights, health at every size and for always leading with kindness.