You’ve probably heard that weight lifting can make women look bulky or you may be worried about getting ‘too big’ but the reality is totally unlike that. Here are my top ten reasons for women to start weight lifting:
10. You will gain strength (without looking like Arnie)
Regularly lifting weights will undoubtedly increase your strength, but for women (unlike men) it will not typically increase the size of your muscles by a large amount. Women don’t tend to have the amount of testosterone needed to ‘bulk up’.
9. Reduced risk of osteoporosis
Research has found that weight training can increase bone mineral density, therefore leading to a much lower risk in osteoporosis. This will protect your body in later life.
8. Improved flexibility
One of the best exercises for flexibility in weight training is the squat; this will improve flexibility in the knees and hips. Certain upper body exercises will also improve flexibility in the shoulders too. What woman doesn’t want to be more flexible?
7. Reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes
Research found that weight lifting can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, therefore leading to a healthier heart. Weight training has also been found to improve the way the body processes sugar, which could prevent diabetes.
6. Reduced risk of injury
Weight training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability, therefore resulting in a less ‘breakable’ body. Perfect.
5. Increased metabolism
Weight training (obviously) helps you build muscle, and in order to build muscle your body has to use up a lot of calories, this in turn boosts your metabolism. A higher metabolism means your body can burn more calories naturally. Could you ask for anything more?
4. Improved mood and reduced risk of depression
When you exercise your body releases endorphins, these are known as the body’s natural feel good chemicals. People often call this the ‘exercise rush’ and it’s thanks to this that weight training (and other forms of exercise) may help to battle depression.
3. Increased energy
Weight training gives you more endurance and power, which results in more usable energy. Combined with the endorphins you’ll feel ready to take on the world after you leave the gym…unless it’s leg day, then you’ll just want to find the nearest sofa and stay there. Trust me.
2. Improved body image
With regular training your body will change to become more ‘toned’ and lean, resulting in higher confidence levels and an improved body image. This combined with the endorphins will result in a generally happier you.
1. You’ll lose body fat
As you gain muscle (again not the bulky kind) you will lose fat, therefore lowering your body fat percentage. Don’t be upset if you see the number on the scales getting higher though; although you may not lose weight on the scales, your body shape will improve as one pound of muscle takes up less space than one pound of fat. Always measure your progress by inches rather than what you see on the scales.
So what other reasons could you possibly need to start including weight training into your exercise regime?