5 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights
Strong is the new skinny.
There was a time in our society where slim and skinny was the way to go. Be it through magazines, TV or social media, this was the only celebrated body type. And while there is nothing wrong with being slim and skinny, it’s good to know that we now live in a society where a different kind of body can be championed: the strong and muscular.
1. Faster rate of fat loss
Increasing and conserving muscle mass is an extremely effective way to keep body fat at a healthy level. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the only purpose of weightlifting is to increase one’s size. While that is a perk, when compared to cardiovascular exercise, strength training is far better equipped at burning the calories at a faster rate. You’ll be burning fat during and after your exercise which is exactly what you want in the long run.
2. Women gain strength, not bulk
A lot of women avoid weightlifting simply because of the fear that it’ll make them look ‘manly’. If you’re one of these women, please understand that biologically speaking that just isn’t viable. A woman’s body simply cannot produce the level of hormones needed to cause that level of bulk. You will instead develop muscle tone and definition. Endurance training often leads to fat AND muscle loss but, if done correctly, strength training targets fat loss specifically. That means your curves won’t get lost in the process. So much for manliness, huh?
3. Better muscle retention
As you age, your muscles and joints naturally get weaker. If you avoid strength training, it can weaken at a faster rate. Cardiovascular training coupled with a healthy balance of weightlifting can keep your muscles active and strong many years down the line. Studies show that from the age of 30 onwards, women tend to lose their mobility, flexibility and muscle strength. That muscle often gets turned to fat as time goes on. Weightlifting is an excellent way to fight against the current, while also keeping the weight down. You don’t just want the pounds to go down, you also want the inches to follow suit. Strength training can help with that.
4. Quality of sleep
Weightlifting is an effective way to combat poor sleep. When our bodies start to increase muscle strength, it undergoes changes that are directly linked to one’s ability to cope better with the stresses of daily life. This, in turn, improves the quality of your sleep. And not only does it improve your sleep, but it also encourages you to fall asleep quicker and deeper. The more you can do that, the quicker your recovery rate and ability to increase strength.
Getting your heart rate going on an exercise bike might be liberating at first but eventually, that feeling wears off. You’ll find yourself bored and in a slump. Throwing around some serious iron will not only increase your heart rate, but it’ll also improve your state of mind. Being able to lift heavy and seeing that strength increases every week can be incredibly empowering. Your self-esteem will be off the roof, just like that pump you’re getting. It’ll show up not just in your biceps and glutes but also in your daily attitude to life.
Ladies do yourself a favor: the next time you’re in the gym, skip the treadmill and go grab a pair of dumbbells. Your inner Goddess will thank you.
Next up, 14 Sportswear Essentials To Look Fit While You're Working Out