This is something that is very touchy for some women. I truly believe that this is changing with more women these days, but there are still some women who have misconceptions about lifting weights. Now, when I say “weight lifting” I don’t mean going to the gym and all of a sudden becoming this beast of a body builder or anything. I simply mean that women too should lift weights even if they are 3 or 5 lbs. That is still considered weight lifting, but if it makes it a little easier to wrap your head around…let’s just call it resistance training. 🙂
There is a common misconception that if women participate in resistance training, they will get bulky and look “manly”. This is just NOT the truth…just get that out of your head now. Women do not have the same levels of testosterone that men do and so your body is not made to get bulky or look like a man’s body whatsoever. Now that that is out of the way, let me give you some reasons that women SHOULD get involved with resistance training. Well…10 reasons to be exact.
- BURN MORE FAT! Yep, you read that right! You can burn more fat when adding resistance to your workouts. Intense weight training causes your metabolism to stay elevated and that means you keep burning fat for several hours AFTER your workout is completed. When doing cardio workouts (those that most people think burns the most fat) you actually stop burning fat shortly after you are finished.
- CHANGE YOUR BODY SHAPE! As I mentioned before, women DO NOT bulk up because we do not have enough muscle building hormones to gain mass like men do. With that being said, you still can trim down with resistance training. Losing 3% of body fat can equal a total loss of 3″ off of your hips and thighs. What woman doesn’t want to do that?! Sculpting muscle by using weights creates a sleek physique over all. This isn’t just in the hips and thighs like most women are looking for, but also the arms, the back, tummy, neckline, and even gets rid of the multiple chin look. How does it get rid of multiple chins, right? I mean, its not like you are going to be using your neck or head to lift any weights. The appearance of multiple chins will slowly disappear simply because resistance training will burn fat all around your body. You cannot just target one section of your body.
- BOOST YOUR METABOLISM! More muscle means a faster metabolism! As we age, women lose muscle mass at increasing rates. When you diet without weight training, up to 25% of the weight loss may be muscle loss. 😦 Resistance training while dieting can help preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. Doing this means that more muscle increases metabolism and the amount of calories burned all day long.
- GET STRONGER AND MORE CONFIDENT! According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you stronger by 50% in a 6 month period. Not only that, just being stronger will build your self-esteem and confidence. I know that works for me any way. I love nothing more than to see the look on a man’s face when he offers to help move a heavy object for me and I tell him “No thanks. I got this”, and then get to show off my own strength. 🙂
- BUILD STRONG BONES! Just like muscles, bones get bigger and stronger with use (when forced to bear weight). Stronger bones prevent osteoporosis, increases flexibility, and balance.
- FIGHT DEPRESSION! This is true with any kind of workout that you are doing. Working out/exercising releases endorphins (happy hormones) which helps make you feel better! 🙂
- IMPROVE SPORTS FITNESS! Now, I realize that not everyone will still be playing or participating in sports at every age of their life. But, by saying that you can improve your sports fitness, I don’t mean that you have to be an athlete. Resistance training helps in ALL physical activities with your family, friends, and loved ones such as biking, skiing, or just playing with your kids! You won’t find yourself thinking “I don’t know how these kids do it” or “I don’t have the energy to play with the kids like I would have if I were younger.”
- REDUCE INJURIES AND ARTHRITIS! Now this one I can ABSOLUTELY speak to from personal experience. I was told after 2 knee surgeries 13 years ago that I will have arthritis in my right knee forever and will be a better weather predictor than the meteorologists on the news. For a long time, that was very true. In the last year and a half, I have gotten back into resistance training. I use free weights as well as a resistance band, and have also used my own body weight as resistance for some exercises. I can say with all honesty, that my weather predicting days are pretty much behind me. My knee doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it used to when it rains or snows any longer. Resistance training improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons which is why the arthritis virtually goes away. 🙂
- GET HEART HEALTHY! More than 480,000 women die each year from heart disease. 😦 It is the #1 killer of women 25 and up. Weight lifting increases the “good” cholesterol and decreases the “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure. Just 30 minutes a week of resistance training can decrease the risk of developing heart disease by 23% compared to those who do not lift weights. On this new program I am doing, I am doing this for 30 minutes to an hour 6 days per week. So, every day I must be doing wonders for that little heart of mine! 😉
- DEFEND AGAINST DIABETES! Diabetes runs in both sides of my family. So this one is a big one for me. Resistance training improves glucose utilization by 23%. 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism in a way that is comparable to taking diabetes medications. More lean mass that one has makes the body more efficient at removing glucose from the blood. Thus decreasing your chances of becoming diabetic. Do yourself a favor and get into a healthy routine. Your body will thank you for it!
So there ya have it, ladies! Guys, I encourage you to share this with the ladies in your lives as well. Resistance training is just another part of overall health, just like good hygiene and proper nutrition. It really should be a non-negotiable in everyone’s life, if you ask me. And you must have if you made it this far. 😉 Thanks for hangin’ in there with me. I hope this helps and if you have any questions about resistance training tips, equipment, programs, or anything like that in general, feel free to ask. I am happy to share. 🙂