Attention ladies, it’s time to start lifting! Many women cringe at the idea of weightlifting, buying into the myth that it will make them look more masculine. Lifting is a great source of exercise and can help you attain your goals faster than just doing cardio. Here are some added benefits to weight training.
Burns More Calories
Over the course of a 30 minute weight lifting session, the average person burns about 90 to 130 calories. While that might not be a lot in comparison to a long run or HIIT workout, weight training is helping you burn more calories at rest. Lifting helps build lean muscle. Muscle tissue is significantly more active than fat and burns more calories for longer after your workout. Even when you’re sitting around doing nothing your lean muscle is burning calories.
Build Muscle Tone
Toned muscles look and feel firm even at rest. Weight training can give you that basis for the defined muscles and nice physique we’re all looking for. A lot of women have bought into the myth that lifting heavy weights all the time will make them “look like a man”. Barring a few cases, women lack the hormones needed to bulk up from weight lifting. Instead weight training can help decrease your body’s fat content and increase the visibility of your muscles. When building muscle mass it’s important to focus on exercises that target large muscle groups. These exercises will be more helpful than working isolated muscle groups. Muscle mass weighs more than fat, but it takes up less space. However, despite the number on the scale your clothes will likely fit you better and you’ll feel healthier.
Short Term Health
Regular exercise can benefit your posture, sleep, weight loss and metabolism. While we already discussed the weight loss benefits of weight training. Weight lifting can increase blood flow to the muscles and the brain which boosts serotonin and can improve your mood. Regular exercise can help diminish excess energy allowing for better sleep.
Increased exercise has been proven to benefit total body health. Building muscles in your back, neck and legs can help strengthen your posture. A lower fat index can help relieve muscle and joint pain. Over a longer period of time, weight training can help improve balance and ensure your equilibrium.
Long Term Health
Weight training can build a healthier lifestyle. Long term benefits of lifting can include gaining bone density, lowering inflammation and staving off chronic disease. As we get older, our muscles naturally deteriorate as we get older. It is important to challenge and train our bones to maintain bone health, especially as women. Women make up 80% of osteoporosis cases because we do less to maintain our bone health. After 30, you start to lose bone density putting us at a higher risk of bone disease. Lifting helps us build muscle in order to support our bones and maintain their health over a longer period of time.
It also helps us fight off disease. Any form of exercise helps stave off many cardiovascular diseases. A lot of chronic illnesses are due to unhealthy food and exercise habits, increasing weight training can improve heart and vascular function as well as mental health.
Strong is Beautiful
Lifting will help make you strong which, especially in athletes, should be admired. It can add to your game allowing you to push harder and move faster. Not only does it help you look better, it helps you move better and feel better. Even if you’re not seeing progress on a scale, you’re seeing it in your game, in the way you walk, in the way your clothes fit, and your confidence.
Strong is beautiful! Your body is yours. You are the only one that gets to decide what is good for you. If you’re treating your body right and taking care of it, you are one step closer to your goal. Don’t be afraid to get creative when trying to find workouts that work for you. The more you enjoy your workout the better outcome you’ll have.
Louisa May Alcott said it best, “The emerging woman…will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied…strength and beauty must go together.” (P.S. You’re already beautiful, now go build some strength!)