All women want to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin and happy with their appearance. We want to feel strong and independent and able to deal with all of life’s challenges. Whether that’s physical challenges like moving furniture on our own or lifting up our kids, or mental challenges like career changes, relationships, or simply trying to fit comfortably into our favourite pair of jeans! What many women don’t realise is that lifting weights, otherwise known as resistance training can benefit all aspects of our lives and help us to reach our goals much more quickly.
So what’s the top 5 reasons why women should be lifting some iron?!
1. Lose Body Fat: Weight training builds lean muscle mass, this in return boosts your metabolism. A higher metabolism means you will burn more calories even at rest. So whilst you are sleeping that had earned muscle will be burning away extra calories. For each pound of muscle you gain, you will burn 35-50 more calories per day! Remember as well that you will be burning calories whilst you are lifting those weights to. Studies have shown that a high intensity weights session is actually more effective at burning calories than cardiovascular exercise.
2. Create Curves: Contrary to popular belief lifting weights will NOT make you bulky. Women unlike men have much lower levels of testosterone meaning it’s very hard for us ladies to put on muscle bulk. Instead we are predisposed to develop feminine lean muscles. This lean muscle helps to create lovely curves that many women aspire to have. Firm peachy glutes, shapely back and shoulders and toned arms and legs. Endurance training will help us to lose body fat, but it’s the resistance training that will help us to create and sustain our curves.
3. Bone Health: Resistance training is an excellent way of of strengthening your muscles, but it is also very effective at strengthening our bones and joints. As we age we are at risk of losing bone density and muscle mass, resistance training is an excellent way of combating both. Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk of suffering from osteoporosis because the body is no longer secreting oestrogen, so implementing resistance training is paramount.
4. Stress Relief: Time and time again exercise has been proven to help reduce stress and has been shown to be a great way to blow off some steam! Exercise and weight training releases endorphins, which are basically our ‘happy’ hormone. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood and help to fight depression. Resistance training studies in older adults show that weightlifting also improves memory and cognitive function. So next time you need to de-stress hit those weights!
5. Quality Sleep: Lifting weights 3-4 times per week helps to regulate many important functions in the body including metabolic rate and blood pressure which contributes to stress reduction and a better nights sleep. Resistance training creates positive physical changes in our bodies that help us to cope better with daily stress and struggles, therefore equating to a more peaceful nights sleep. Studies have shown that weight training and high intensity training significantly improve the quality of our sleep and the length of time we are able to sleep.