First myth to clear up before we even dive into the deepend together…. Women don’t build muscle the way men do! When women lift weights, they don’t produce enough testosterone to become super bulky. What happens? They trim down and actually are more likely to have an hourglass shape. PERFECT. If that’s not enough motivation to lift weights, then take a look at these 5 reasons!
1.Better Weight Loss
According a study in the journal, Obesity, strength training is better at helping you lose belly fat. Why? Aerobic exercise burns fat AND muscle. Weight Lifting burns exclusively fat! So if you’re a cardio queen, about 25% of your weight loss is actually hard earned (and needed!) muscle! Between the ages of 30-50 you automatically lose about 10% of your muscle mass…. Do you really want to contribute to that?
And after you’re done with your workout? Your basal or resting metabolic rate is higher. What does that mean? That means that you are burning more calories the rest of the day…even if all you’re doing is watching tv!
As you do more weight training, you may see the scale go up a pound or two at first. Don’t let this worry you! As everyone knows, muscle weighs more than fat. Once the muscle starts burning away the fat stores – you will tone up, lose a size or two, AND see a decrease in cellulite!
Plus strength training will boost your other workouts. You can run faster and longer! That always helps in weight loss. 🙂 See? I like cardio, too.
Studies show that those who weight-lift fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake less often! When aiming for your 6-9 hours of sleep, most of us fall short. It only gets more frustrating when you DO get in bed on time….and can’t sleep. Time to try something other than a sleeping pill! There have been studies that show weight training is an effective alternative to drugs for people struggling with insomnia!
We’ve probably all heard that women are at risk for osteoporosis.
How can you help that?
I love what someone once said, Weight lifting trains your bones, not your muscles. You pull your bones to straighten and correct posture or alignment. But each pull does something else. It promotes your bones to create new bone cells – making them more dense. So when you get older, there is more bone to rely on!
For those with joint pain who may be afraid to try weight lifting, please think again! Many with knee or back pain find relief when they add weight lifting to their regimen. This is because you are training your muscles to support your joints in the movements they make. (This is why form is SO important when you are weight lifting! Make sure what ever program you use, you are careful to protect them. Overuse is never going to help them!)
One reason we like a sharper mind? It may lead to a raise! Or at least a less stressful workday. Researchers found that workers could be 15% more productive on days when they lifted weights!
One of my personal opinions why our ability to take on the world improves when we lift weights? So many things in life are a mental game – when you take on a challenge like lifting a heavy weight – you train your brain to conquer challenges. This can translate into other areas of your life! You will feel strong!
Researchers also found that weight lifters (after a 6 month study) had an increase in short and long-term memory, had better verbal reasoning, and even had a longer attention span! (A way to reverse our technology curse, maybe?)
Weight training has also been shown in several studies to greatly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety too! That could easily boost your self-esteem, too.
Everyone talks about cardio as the key thing to improve heart health. But strength training can help too!
For example, in a recent study a group of people lowered their blood pressure by 20% after complete a strength training regimen. Take that cardio! (In case, you’re worried. I like cardio too. I’m just giving it a hard time…) Even the American Heart Association approves of strength training to reduce the risk of heart attack! This is mostly due to the studies that show those who lift weights also have:
- smaller waist circumference
- lower triglycerides (LDL’s aka the bad cholesterol!)
- lower blood pressure
- lower glucose levels (this is due o the fact that the weight training helps your body utilize carbs for energy and muscle building instead of storing them as fat. YAY!)
Not too shabby! Overall, weight-lifting can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 15%… And as a bonus, it lowers your risk of stroke by 40%!
After reading this, I hope you’ll consider adding weight-lifting to your exercise regime! Research has shown you need at least 2 sessions per week to make it effective, but 3 is best. If you need recommendations to programs to try, let me know. There are tons out there!