Why Do Women Need Muscles?
Should women really be the “weaker sex”?
Do you really need to work your muscles?
And what do muscles do for you?
The simple answers to these questions are:
Our bodies, whether we are male or female, are made of hard tissue (bones), soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments), and fluids. Our structure, or skeleton, would fall apart without muscles and other soft tissues. But unlike other soft tissues, muscles are the ones we can intentionally work. We can stretch them, strengthen them, and tell them (via messages from our brain) to move and contract and do what we want.
Women, on average, might have less muscle-building protein and a lower percentage of muscle fiber than men do, but that doesn’t mean muscles are any less important for our wellbeing.
- Muscular strength contributes greatly to bone strength, mitigating our chances for developing brittle bones and osteoporosis as we age;
- Balanced muscular strength, flexibiliity, and endurance play a huge part in pain relief and avoidance of injury;
- With targeted muscle strengthening before and during pregnancy, women can recover more quickly and avoid common imbalances caused by mothering;
- Proper muscular development helps us prevent common dangers of aging: increased falls and fractures or joint replacements, painful skeletal abnormalities (like rounded shoulders and limited walking stride), and decreased movement capacity (which can discourage physical activity and lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease).
The best thing about working your muscles is that you don’t need a gym to do it properly. You can do any weight-bearing activity to increase your muscle strength. And unless you add significant external weight to your activities and engage in a regimented eating program designed to build more muscle, you won’t get the dreaded “big muscles” that many women still fear. The more muscle mass you have, the leaner you’ll be. And I hope you understand after reading this post, the healthier you’ll be, too.