Ask Heidi Corbett: How Can Women Benefit From Strength Training?

Performance specialist Heidi Corbett knows that women aren’t always comfortable in the weight room, but she’s got some great reasons to set hesitancy aside and give weights a try.

If you are a woman, the weight room may not be an appealing place to pursue fitness. Clanging weights and complex equipment can be intimidating. But performance specialist Heidi Corbett loves to help women develop confidence through strength training—and explains how the benefits can be life changing.

“Weight training is empowering,” Heidi explains. “It’s a way to push past your mental barriers, and breaking barriers is fun. When you increase your reps or the amount of weight you can lift, you build your confidence and realize that you can do so much more than you thought you could.”

Confidence is only one of the benefits of strength training for women.

  • Physically, weight training helps to increase bone density to fight osteoporosis or osteopenia. Training with weights also increases a woman’s balance and stability, which reduces the risk of a fall-related injury.
  • Building muscle mass contributes to weight loss. “When you increase your muscle mass, you also increase your metabolism,” Heidi notes. “The muscle you build creates more tissue for which your body has to provide energy; strength training can help you burn more calories at rest than you would if you did cardio training alone. Even if you aren’t losing weight, building muscle sculpts your body—which can help clothes fit better.”
  • One immediate effect of weight training is its ability to improve your mood by increasing endorphins.
  • Strength training helps to reduce the risk of health problems that affect women. “It lowers blood pressure as well as risks of diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease—the number one killer of women,” Heidi explains.
  • Strengthening muscle is a very safe form of exercise. When weight lifting is done correctly, it has a very low risk of injury compared to sports like running.
  • Increasing muscle mass can help prevent injuries of hips and ankles. “When you have stronger muscles, there’s less stress on joints,” Heidi observes. “Strength training also puts stress on the bone, which improves the density and strength of the bone itself. This makes strength training an injury-reducing benefit for women who also enjoy high-impact activities like running.”

Heidi encourages women to begin strength training by working with a personal trainer or performance specialist. “If you feel intimidated, a guide can explain how equipment works and show you how to use it,” she says. “I start my clients slowly; the last thing I want is to discourage them! It’s important to begin one step at a time. Get familiar with the exercises and understand their purpose. It takes time to build muscle, but you can start feeling an improvement in mood immediately. Gradual positive steps in strength training can lead to significant health gains over time.”

Summit Orthopedics offers proactive wellness services

At Summit Orthopedics, we are committed to providing the resources, tools, and expertise you need to achieve your personal fitness goals. Our Summit wellness center is home to proactive wellness classes and training services for you and the whole family. Wellness experts can work with you or your physician to design an exercise program that supports lifelong health through exercise.

Start your journey to a more active self through our wellness services offered at the HealthEast Sports Center. Schedule a free wellness consultation online or call (651) 968-5766. Find the group fitness class that works with your schedule. Visit our Facebook page to learn all about the wellness events we offer to safely promote good health throughout your life.

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  • Heidi Corbett, M.S., C.S.C.S.

    “I truly believe exercise is medicine, and everyone can benefit from physical activity. My goal is to help support individuals in leading healthy lifestyles by improving their overall well being. It’s never too late to make positive changes.”

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