Strength Training Is Essential for Women’s Health—Why Aren’t More Of Us Doing It?

Neglecting strength training also leads to weaker bones, reduced metabolic efficiency, and increased risk of injuries over all, adds Sergii Putsov, CPT, a former Olympic weightlifter who serves as head of sport science at Torokhtiy Weightlifting “While cardio improves heart health and stamina, it doesn’t provide the necessary stimulus needed to maintain bone density and muscle mass.”

At the same time, it boosts metabolism as well as mobility and flexibility, which “makes your bones stronger, improves your brain health, and increases your quality of life, especially as you age,” says Putsov. Another bonus? It reduces the risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone density while strengthening muscles around joints, providing better support, adds Zermeño.

Some of the benefits are more unexpected, too: According to Mara, strength training has been found to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve overall mood while reducing the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. What’s more, it can help you better manage blood sugar levels, adds Putsov.

Really, the perks of strength raining can be summarized into one word everyone loves these days: Longevity (or living longer). “People are always looking for the next anti-aging product or how to look and feel younger, and going to the gym is part of that,” says Zermeño, who tells Glamour that a recent study showed that women who performed regular muscle strengthening activities had a 19% reduction in mortality risk. “The benefits of strength training for the body work together to enhance longevity.”

Fortunately, more and more women are catching onto the importance of getting strong.

“The growing embrace of strength training by women in mainstream fitness is backed by solid evidence and cultural shifts,” says Zhang. “Research shows it’s not just about building muscles but also improving bone density and metabolism, while social media hashtags like #GirlsWhoLift are empowering women to share their journeys and break stereotypes. These changes reflect a shift in how we define beauty and health.”

Have you finally been influenced? Great (and same)! Here’s a beginner’s guide to strength training, according to fitness experts.

Incorporate strength training into your daily routine

Your strength training journey doesn’t have to start with hundreds of squats a day; you can hack your way up while building strength. “Incorporating simple hacks into your daily routine can help boost muscle strength over time,” says Zhang. “One effective strategy is to focus on increasing your daily activity level by incorporating bodyweight exercises into your routine whenever possible.

For example, Zhang suggests doing squats while brushing your teeth, calf raises while waiting for the kettle to boil, or lunges while watching TV. “Prioritize activities that naturally engage multiple muscle groups, like walking or biking uphill, carrying groceries, or gardening. These functional movements not only build strength but also improve overall fitness and mobility,” he says.

If you’re looking to add a bit of resistance, you can also try using household items like water bottles or bags filled with books as makeshift weights and/or opt for ankle or wrist weights during daily activities.

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