When you think of lifting weights, you probably imagine a bulky guy with headphones lifting weights at the gym. As a woman, you might put most of your emphasis on cardio exercises like bike riding, running and walking. Unfortunately, most women forgo weight training because they have a fear of bulking up.
This fear prevents them from seeing the true beauty that their bodies can become, especially when losing weight. As you lose weight, you lose the definition in your muscles because along with fat, your body is burning off muscle tone. This is why it is key to incorporate weight training into your weekly workouts in order to feel confident in your progress.
Here are five reasons why women should lift weights:
1. Burn More Fat
You have probably heard the saying,muscle burns more than fat and it’s a true statement. The more muscle you have, the more your body will burn at rest. While you’re sitting here reading this right now, your body is burning calories; so long as you lift weights. If you have very poor muscle tone, your body will burn fewer calories at rest than if you were a bit more toned up. This increase in muscle mass might put a few pounds on the scale in the beginning as muscle does weigh more than fat, but it means more sustainable and long-term weight loss for you over time.
2. Increase Bone Strength
As women age, they have less bone density mass than when they were younger. This is why many older women deal with osteoporosis and similar bone-related disorders. By strength training, you’re not only building muscle, but you’re strengthening the ultimate core, which is your skeletal system. This means fewer cracks, breaks and strains when you’re older when compared to women who do not lift weights at all.
This doesn’t mean that you need to become a power lifter, but even something as simple as incorporating some 5lb weights into your workouts will do wonders for you.
3. Regain Your Self-Esteem
When you lift weights, you’ll feel better about yourself and the way that you look. Lifting weights releases feel-good endorphins that are essential for people who experience depression and severe anxiety. It brings about a connection to your mind and body that you might not have experienced before. Because lifting weights takes a lot of effort and concentration, it’s ideal for many mood disorders and mental health conditions because it takes the focus off of what’s bothering you to how your body is currently feeling.
4. Sculpt and Tone the Body
Along with feeling good mentally, you’ll look great when you begin to lift weights. As you lose weight, you’ll notice that you lose a lot of muscle mass along with fat. This can be seen when you look in the mirror and despite having lost all the weight that you both need and want, you still look pudgy or bulky around your midsection, arms and legs. Weight lifting smooths your body out and both tones and sculpts the muscles so that they look leaner and more attractive.
5. Ease Joint Pains
Going back to how weight lifting helps the skeletal system, the same can be said about improving joint issues. Lifting weights uses a series of joints throughout the body, whether this be the elbows, shoulders, knees or ankles. Because you’re using joints regularly to lift weights, the joints stay in good condition and the likelihood of having issues is diminished. The same can be said for those who are already experiencing these types of aches and pains.
The more that you use your joints, the less that they’re going to hurt and bother you. Remember that old saying, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” This is a great saying when it comes to your joint mobility and health.
By lifting weights more often, you will experience a myriad of benefits that you probably never dreamed possible. For women who have lost weight and are still unsatisfied with the way their bodies look, lifting weights can bridge the gap between that leftover pudge to a more sculpted and toned physique. The key with lifting weights is to start out as slow as possible.
If you hit the gym trying to lift 100lbs right off the bat, you’ll probably end up hurting yourself and assuming weight lifting just isn’t for you. If need be, get a personal trainer involved so that they can guide you through the process of successfully and safely lifting weights, especially if you’re an older woman. If you would like to lift weights at home, there are tons of at-home workout videos you can utilize to start your journey to better health and overall well-being.