7 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights
I’m a keen advocate of lifting weights because it has such a wide variety of benefits; ranging from burning body fat to reducing your risk of getting Diabetes, especially when you train with intensity. At first I was sceptical of lifting weights, being a woman I thought I would end up looking bulky, however after a decade of doing so I look in my best shape, am stronger and fitter than ever.
High intensity weight training is actually a scientific approach that can speed up your metabolism and turn your body into a fat burning machine, which is obviously great if you’re looking for weight loss! Here’s why you should seriously consider strength training:
- You will increase your Physical Strength
Increasing your physical strength simply put, makes every day living easier. If your maximum strength is increased, daily tasks and exercise will be easier and less likely to cause injury. Research studies show that even moderate weight training can increase a woman’s strength by 30% – 50%.
- You will Burn Body Fat
A study shows that the average woman who does strength training two or three times a week for two months will gain nearly 2 lbs of muscle and will lose 3.5 lbs of fat. As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, which means you burn more calories. 1 lb of muscle burns between 50-100 calories, 24 hours a day!
- You will gain Strength Without Bulk
Unlike men, women typically don’t gain size or bulk from lifting weights. Compared to men, women have 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle to increase. You will however, develop muscle tone and definition, which is what we really want!
- You will reduce your Risk of Diabetes
Weight training is known to improve the way the body processes blood sugar, which can reduced the risk of diabetes. Research shows that weight training can increase glucose utilisation in the body by 23% in four months. Improvements to blood sugar are well known to help with weight loss.
- You will reduce your Risk of Injury, Back Pain and Arthritis
In addition to building stronger muscles, strength training builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This helps reinforce the joints and prevent against injury. Studies have shown that strengthening the lower back muscles had an 80% success rate in eliminating or alleviating symptoms of lower back pain. Weight training is also known to ease pain from osteoarthritis and help strengthen joints.
- You will release a Hormone that Burns Fat
Lifting weights with intensity (combining speed & heavier weights for a short period of time, just 15 minutes is plenty) helps to release a naturally occurring fat burning hormone called Growth Hormone (GH). GH is known for its anti-ageing and rejuvenating effects as it stimulates cell growth, production and regeneration in the body. GH makes our muscles firmer and denser which positively affects our metabolism and fat burning.
- You will feel Empowered and Mentally Strong
A Harvard study actually showed that 10 weeks of strength training reduced symptoms of depression more successfully than counselling did! Women who lift weights commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of doing so. I certainly agree that you feel energised and empowered after lifting weights with intensity!
So if you’ve never given it a go, I highly recommend you ask your gym instructor to show you how to get started with lifting weights, you’re absolutely onto a winner as a woman by doing so!