There is a common misconception that muscles, and strength-building in general, are manly. Women tend to stay away from exercises that “bulk them up” and instead focus on workouts that slim them down by burning calories such as aerobics.
However, whether man or woman, it’s important for a person’s health to gain strength and build muscles. No, you don’t have to have the physique of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or John Cena. By simply lifting weights, you’re unlikely to grow bigger than your current size.
But you will be reaping health benefits from having muscles. Here are a few reasons why women should focus more on their muscles.
Your joints will love you for building muscle. This is because muscles act as a cushion between your bones to reduce the pressure at your joints, which can help prevent injuries and general discomfort.
Building muscle also serves as an anti-inflammatory agent that will relieve pain and swelling around your joints. You’ll probably notice this benefit after an intense workout running or doing other endurance exercises, as soreness is a sign of your muscles protecting you from injury.
Your bones need a little bit of work to stay healthy. Having a larger bone structure can help prevent fractures and maintain a decent amount of bone density as you age, which reduces your risk of osteoporosis.
Lifting weights does not guarantee stronger bones, but it will ensure that the joints around your bones are holding strong. In turn, this prevents your bones from becoming damaged after an injury.
Heart Disease and Diabetes Prevention
It may seem counterproductive to gain muscle to protect yourself from heart disease and diabetes because many people believe these conditions are associated with obesity—and therefore also with being overweight. But gaining weight does not mean an increase in fat. In fact, an increase in muscle can help lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Weight Management and Loss
If you want to lose weight, then gaining muscle is one of your best strategies. Your muscles are responsible for burning more calories even when you’re at rest, which means that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
So don’t shy away from lifting weights to build muscle if weight loss is one of your goals. Just make sure that after your workout it is your diet that takes priority.
If you don’t watch what you eat, then your extra calorie burned from muscles won’t matter much. In addition to the number of calories burned when exercising, eating less can help women who are trying to lose weight gain muscle instead of fat. Remember that an inactive body allows its fat stores to be burned off as energy.
How to Build Muscles as a Woman
Building muscles can be done in various ways. You may do so with bodyweight exercises, such as pushups and planks, or using weights in the form of dumbbells and barbells.
You will need to lift heavy enough weight that it creates a challenge for your muscles while you perform each exercise. The right amount of weight will push your muscles to work harder, allowing them to develop and grow.
You should always maintain proper form while lifting weights because this is necessary for the development of the muscle and prevents you from making mistakes that can lead to injuries and other problems. Fortunately, there are plenty of exercises that women can do safely without much risk of injury.
Aside from exercise, you also need to eat the right kind of diet. Many people drink protein shakes to boost their muscle growth. Professional athletes also consume food and beverages that contain micellar casein protein from milk which helps build muscles.
In addition, you need to eat lean meats and green leafy vegetables that will deliver more protein into your body. You should also take in carbohydrates that are found in whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables because this will provide your body with the energy it needs to carry out intense workouts.
You should limit the number of sugary beverages and food you consume. Not only do these foods have a high number of calories, but they can also affect your insulin levels in a way that encourages weight gain instead of weight loss.
If building muscles is one goal you want to achieve, then maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you stay on track for the best results. You should eat a lot of healthy food and limit your intake of sugary and junk foods. More importantly, you need to exercise to strengthen your body.