Naomi Harris, the sexy star who played Eve in the latest James Bond 007 movie Skyfall, was quoted in Empire Magazine as being “very happy” about her new muscles. “It’s been a lot of hard work. My body’s completely changed,” she told Empire magazine. “I’ve got muscles where I never knew it was possible to have muscles, which is all very exciting. I’m very happy about that.” More women are learning to embrace strength training for muscle development not only just for the obvious reasons of a leaner and more toned body, but for more of the health and weight loss benefits. Here are a few of our top 5 benefits…

  1. Speed Up Your Metabolism: Muscle is one of the most metabolically-active tissues in the body so increasing your muscle mass will directly increase your metabolism.
  2. Defy Aging: The National Academy of Sports Medicine cites that sedentary people after the age of 35 begin to lose between .5% – 1% percent of their muscle mass annually. But if you start a resistance training routine along with a clean diet that includes adequate amounts of protein, you can prevent most of the muscle loss associated with aging.
  3. Improved Body Composition: An unhealthy body composition dramatically increases your risk for weight-related health issues such as diabetes and heart disease, as stated by the American Council on Exercise.
  4. Improved Your Glucose Absorption: Hyperglycemia, high blood sugar, is a major cause of complications with diabetes. Strength training can help prevent and manage diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and glucose absorption. During weight training your muscles are emptied of stored sugar (glycogen), which allows them to absorb sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream, thereby lowering blood sugar. However, diabetics should use caution should because blood sugar levels during or after exercise can drop dangerously low. (source Soukup, J. et al. 1994. “Resistance training Guidelines For Individuals With Diabetes Mellitus)
  5. Post Workout Expenditure: Your body continues to need oxygen at a higher rate than before you began to exercise which is called excess post exercise oxygen consumption or (EPOC). The more intensity you use the longer the EPOC duration. So basically, the more intense your weight lifting session the longer you’ll burn calories post workout so go HARD!