When you think of weight bearing exercises, maybe one of the first things that come to mind is training with free weights. While “weight bearing exercises” can include this, there are also plenty of other ways to include it in your fitness routine. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons describes weight bearing exercise as any activity done on your feet that works your bone and muscle against gravity. Any racquet sport, such as tennis or racquetball, sports such as soccer or basketball, stair climbing or dancing are all great forms of weight bearing exercise. This is good news for those who prefer doing activities to burn calories as opposed to going to the gym. Pushups, squats and other similar exercises are also some great examples and can be done from the comfort of your own home. While there are many benefits to weight bearing exercises for women, here are three of the top benefits.
Helps aid in weight loss and boosts metabolism
While aerobic exercises help you to burn calories while you are actually doing the activity, weight bearing exercises will help you to burn calories even after you are done. Why? Muscle tissues constantly uses energy so the more muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be. Building up your muscles will help you burn more calories while you are at rest and lose weight faster. Look for a routine that combines aerobic exercises with weight bearing ones. Of course, all of this should be combined with a healthy diet. At the end of the day, you want to make sure to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight.
Helps to prevent bone loss and build strong bones
Weight bearing exercises also help to prevent bone loss. When combined with the right diet, they can also help to prevent osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, high impact weight bearing exercises, such as dancing, jumping rope or tennis will help build up bones and keep them strong. If you are unable to do high impact exercises, then low impact exercises such as using an elliptical or stair step machine are both safe alternatives that will also help keep bones strong. While you should always check with your doctor before beginning any type of exercise routine, the younger you are when starting these types of exercises, the better. In the case of bone loss, prevention is key! Start with these exercises as soon as you can so that you continue to maintain healthy bones.
Helps to improve brain function
Did you know that weight bearing exercises not only help to improve your physical fitness, but can also help to improve your mental fitness as well? According to studies done at the University of British Colombia, exercise helps memory and thinking by directly affecting chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells. It also helps to improve sleep and reduce stress and anxiety which are major factors in improving cognitive thinking.
Take some time to evaluate your fitness routine and ask yourself whether or not you are including enough weight bearing exercises. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 4 days a week. Start now and not only will you begin to see improvements in your health, but you will set yourself up for a healthier, stronger future!
Godman, Heidi. “Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills.” Harvard Medical School. 09 April 2014. 27 July 2017.
“Osteoporosis Exercises for Strong Bones.” National Osteoporosis Foundation. Accessed 27 July 2017.
Padycula, Jessica. “5 Reasons Women Need Weight Bearing Exercises”. She Knows. 18 May 2012. Accessed 27 July 2017.
“Weight Bearing Exercises for Women and Girls.” American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. October 2007. Accessed 27 July 2017.
Williams, David. “Exercise Smart for Rapid Weight Loss.” Dr. David Williams. Accessed 27 July 2017.