Why all women should lift weights
Updated: Jan 15
If you could only give one lifestyle tip to all women, do you know what that would be?
For me, that is easy - to lift weights!
For myself, and many i have introduced weight training to, it has completely changed their lives. For body and mind, weight training really makes a difference.
The days of women being scared of getting BIG from lifting weights has hopefully long gone. Women just don’t have the same make up as men and it very difficult for us to get big from lifting weights, even heavy weights.
What great news is that with the popularity of social media, women working out with weights is not only more and more common, it is actually becoming fashionable. Encouraging women to start lifting weights and reaping the benefits that come with it.
The benefits of lifting weights for anyone are incredible, but i would go as far to say that i believe them to be greater for women, especially as we pass through out thirties, into our 40s and beyond, when our hormones change and the effects this can have on our health and body.
Here are some of the great aesthetic, body and mental health benefits of weight training for women:
Increase in calorie burn
Weight lifting is far superior to general cardiovascular exercise when it comes to burning calories. Not only do you burn calories during the workout, there is the after-burn. Post workout you can continue to burn calories for hours, even days through the increased oxygen consumption and repair process
Increase in resting metabolic rate
Weight training will increase your lean muscle, and the more lean muscle you have the higher your resting metabolic rate (metabolism). Meaning that you burn more calories all day every day.
Improves shape and body composition
Weight lifting has more of an impact on body composition and shape. Weight training aids the use of fat as fuel. Denser, toned muscles are smaller or appear smaller, they are tighter and more shapely than fat.
Tones and defines
In simple terms, the mechanics of weight lifting - it tears muscle fibres and the repair of them builds them back up. Making them more toned and stronger. Giving more definition and tone to the body, making us look and feel better
Weight training won't make us big but it will make you strong. By challenging yourself with weights you will inevitably improve your strength which will make your daily activities seem easier, i.e. carrying shopping, picking up the kids.., having a positive effect on your life today and as you age
Reduces the risk of Injury
The building of stronger muscles also means stronger connective tissue and more joint stability which will reduce the risk of injury during exercise and in everyday life. Increasingly important to counteract the natural muscle loss and deterioration of connective tissue as we age.
Improves bone density
Women are more prone to osteoporosis in later life due to naturally having thinner bones than men, and the decrease in the hormone oestrogen that protects bones. Weight bearing exercise can help minimise this loss and in small amounts increase bone density and boost bone strength. The strengthening of muscles also helps reduce falls which are the main cause of fractures with osteoporosis sufferers.
Improves heart and lung health
Cardiovascular training, is often more associated with heart and lung health, but weight training works the same way as interval training does. You heart rate increases along with your oxygen intake and then your heart rate rests. A weight training session is like an interval workout. This rise and recovery of the heart rate is great for improving heart and lung conditioning. According to research weight training can improve cardiovascular health by also increasing good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
Improved hormone regulation / balance & function
There are lots of studies / theories out there about weight training helping to control insulin in the body, cortisol (stress hormone) and female sex organs. From my own personal and clients experience it can really have a huge positive effect on menstrual cycles and moods as well as less fat storage around our midriffs.
Confidence & mental health boost
Exercise in general can have a great effect on helping to keep stress at bay and keeping the mood elevated, but weight training can also help boost confidence through better body composition. It is inevitable that becoming stronger, toned and reducing body fat is going to have a knock on effect on your confidence, and nothing beats a confidence boost like a heavy lift
It enpowers you
That feeling of getting stronger, becoming more confidence is empowering. There is nothing more empowering than learning how to lift weight, doing it well, and getting stronger
Boosts sex drive
Studies have shown women who lift weights regularly tend to have more powerful orgasms and enjoy a better sex life.
Whether this boost of libido be from increased confidence and fitness or the slight raise in testosterone and endorphins is unclear but i'm sure the men in your life will welcome the boost
Conquer your fears, learn proper technique, keep challenging yourself, push yourself, vary your routine, don’t let your body get used to it.
Learn to love the body you are in
So what are you waiting for ladies - get lifting!