I am sure you have read somewhere or heard someone say lifting weights is not good for women because it causes them to begin building big muscles and eventually acquire more masculine-looking features. People also say lifting weights is not good for a woman because once she starts lifting, she has to continue for life because if she stops lifting at anytime, all her muscles will eventually turn to fat. These statements or notions are not only hilarious but are extremely far from the truth.
Zumba, treadmill, walks/runs, and other cardio workouts are important aspects of your health and wellness goals. Adding weight lifting to your program, certainly will help you reach your goals faster with more effective and long lasting outcomes. It has always been common for society to accept the idea of men lifting weights. When a woman decides to lift weights, however, we have questions. Times are changing fast and for the better. Many women, especially women over 35, have began to take weightlifting seriously by passionately including weightlifting as part of their exercise routine. This is because most women have now found out that they can also benefit a whole lot from this particular aspect of exercise. Let us look at a few of those benefits.
#1 BURN MORE FAT
Without getting too scientific about this particular benefit, understand that when you do a cardio workout (like Zumba), you burn fat while you are working out and shortly after that. But when you engage in strength training or include some weight lifting into your workouts, you but fat during your workouts and most importantly long after you are done working out. Even while you are resting, you are burning fat. This means that as you stay consistent with your routine, you gradually create a body that is a very effective fat burning machine just by gradually and consistently including weight lifting into your routine.
#2 RELIEVES STRESS
You don’t really have to do heavy lifting to enjoy the benefit of stress relief from lifting weights. You don’t have to lift like a bodybuilder. Even moderate weight lifting will cause your body to release and increase the level of certain chemicals/hormones (endorphins, human growth hormone, testosterone, etc.) that eventually help to reduce overall stress and improve your ability to relax and rest well. It is during your rest period that your body actually rebuilds itself and improves overall metabolism that you greatly desire. So if you want to improve the quality of your sleep and wake up every morning feeling revived, refreshed with optimal mental focus, simply add weightlifting to your workout routine and watch the results amaze you over time.
#3 IMPROVE BONE AND JOINT HEALTH
As we get older, our bone density and joint integrity become weaker and less dependable. We are not able to jump, run, and recover as well as we did when we were teenagers and young adults. This easily puts us at risk for injuries like muscle tears and bone fractures. More women than men are more likely to suffer bone conditions like osteoporosis than men. Osteoporosis is a bone condition that occurs when the bone loses are too much or the body does not make enough bone material. So your bones become very light and susceptible to injury. This causes your bones to easily fracture with very simple movements like sneezing, yawning, reaching overhead, turning in bed or just changing directions when doing a simple walk down the street. The result of lifting weights here are building and maintaining stronger bones and improved quality posture.
#4 REDUCE PAIN
A lot of women suffer from neck, shoulder, back and knee pain which limits their ability to do so many things in life. Just simply sitting down or standing up for long periods of time, sleeping in certain positions, walking up and down a flight of stairs may become unbearable due to pain occurring at these major joints. A lot of times, pain is simply caused by some dysfunction and balance of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments around a particular joint. Weakness and tightness of muscles can be the culprit and cause of such pain. With the right stretching program to stretch tight muscles, and the right strengthening or weight lifting program to strengthen weak muscles, you can gradually restore balance and proper function to your body again. For example, a good core or trunk and ab program can eventually free you from years of excruciating back pain.
#5 IMPROVE NATURAL CURVES
I believe that all women are born with amazing body curves. Yet all women wish they had great curves. They just haven’t discovered how to accentuate their natural curves. There are so many types of body curves that are unique and beautiful in one way or another. A lot of women are fascinated and love to have a figure eight curve. But that is not the only body curve that is existent or attractive. With the right weightlifting program, women can effectively unveil the different types of natural body curves they naturally possess. It is important to understand what your natural curve is, so you can work to shape that particular curve and avoid focusing on creating a body curve that was never meant by nature to be yours.
There are so many other reasons why women should lift weights like improving heart and lungs health, reducing risk of cancer, and simply becoming stronger. We cannot cover all these benefits in detail in one blog write up. Weight lifting is important and crucial for women who desire optimal health. Start with a basic weight lifting program using light weights about three times a week. Weights should be heavy enough to comfortably lift for 8 to 12 repetitions for about 3 sets each. For more effective and injury free weight lifting regimens, please work with a personal trainer. Good luck on your journey to get stronger and more fit.
WLS, FNS (NASM)