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Riley Heruska
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Many times, when women hit the gym, they aren't going for a bulky, muscled look. That's why they are often inclined to hop on a treadmill or take cardio classes. They want to burn calories and slim down, not get ripped. 

If you're a lady who loves aerobic activity but steers clear of the weight room, you might actually be depriving yourself of some major health benefits. Recent research has indicated that more women should be lifting weights for a variety of reasons, including the following. 

Strength Training Is Necessary for Women's Bones 

As people grow older, their bones change. They become less dense, more brittle, and extra prone to osteoporosis. Women are especially at risk of osteoporosis - it affects about 10 million Americans, and 80 percent of those individuals are female. By lifting weights and scheduling regular strength training sessions, women can boost their bone strength and decrease their risk of osteoporosis. 

Lifting Weights May Actually Lower Your Risk of Diabetes 

Studies conducted over the past few years suggest that women who frequently strength train have a 30 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Although simply lifting weights can help prevent the disease, further research found that adding at least 120 minutes of aerobic exercise to your weekly strength training regime yields the best results. 

A Happy Heart Is a Healthy Heart

When you lift weights and use your own body weight to train, you increase the amount of "good" cholesterol that's floating around in your body. This makes your heart happy and seriously decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Because women's risk of death by heart disease goes up substantially after the age of 25, it's especially important for adult females to care for their hearts. 

Aerobic Exercise + Regular Weight Training = Increased Metabolism 

When it comes to your fitness routine, balance is key if you want to see drastic results. Just running on a treadmill or just tossing around some dumbells isn't going to give you that slim appearance you want. On the other hand, when women burn calories by engaging in cardio and building muscles that require lots of energy, they'll find that their metabolisms receive a healthy boost. 

Strong Muscles Decrease the Risk of Injury 

Whether you're an avid skier or a woman who simply takes a walk outside once a week, you'll lower your risk of painful accidents if you build strong ligaments and tendons. However, do make sure you're lifting weights and engaging in resistance training properly, or you might end up hurting your body more than helping. 

The Weight Room Is Good for Your Mood

Okay, so maybe the obnoxious gym rats that typically hunker down in the area don't promote positive emotions, but weightlifting itself can put you in a better mood. The endorphins that are released during resistance training will leave you feeling more energized than you were before you pick up that barbell, so do yourself a favor and hit the gym when you're feeling irritated. 

What are you waiting for? Find a weight training regime that works for you and start improving your health today. Aim for at least thirty minutes of lifting each week and at least 120 minutes of cardio for a body that's made to last. 

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