Weight lifting is not just for men. Women are capable of lifting heavy weights and receiving many benefits that are drastically different than cardio-based exercises.
It’s a common misconception that women who lift weights regularly will “bulk up” and be unattractive. But women’s bodies are different from men’s bodies in terms of building muscle.
Adding weights to your weight lifting routine will only lead to a sleek, sexy, toned look you’ve always wanted. Muscles are sexy!
If you’re ready to begin weight training, first, review the benefits of weight lifting for women to convince you!
Benefits of weight lifting for women
Confidence is everything!
When you begin any exercise program, it’s difficult at first. But with every passing week, you become stronger and can complete the workout routine faster than before.
When once you could barely make it through a brisk walk for 20 minutes. Now you’re running for a full 20 minutes instead. Things get easier with time.
This is one of the benefits of weight lifting for women. Lifting weights get’s easier with time.
At first, you may only start by lifting five-pound weights for bicep curls. Weeks later, you’re curling 15 pounds!
Being able to physically see the progression you are making in the gym with heavier weights is enough to boost anyone’s confidence. You started small and slow with lifting weight.
Now you’re able to go for longer training sessions and lift heavier. You will love the way you feel about yourself and how strong you’ve become.
Increased muscle definition
This is a given when you lift weights! With time you’ll begin to see an increase in muscle definition.
As you lift weights, the fibers in your muscles tear (micro-tearing). Those micro-tears you created will then heal with scar tissue to increase the muscle definition you will begin to see.
While you might think you won’t see muscle definition for a long time, you could begin to see progress in your first month. It all depends on how heavy lift and how often you’re weight training.
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Increase in fat burning
For so many years, everyone said cardio was the key to losing weight. Now, new research points to weight training being the key to increased fat loss.
When you’re losing weight, you are losing a combination of water weight, fat, and even muscle. But if you add weight training to your exercise routine, you are capable of adding muscle and burning fat at the same time!
Lifting weights improves strength and muscle growth lead to increased lean body mass. When lead body mass increases the number of calories your body burns throughout the day also increases.
Instead of only burning calories when working out, your body will continue to burn calories for accelerated fat loss hours to days after lifting!
Best yet, the fat that’s being burned while lifting weights is coming from fat storage in the abdominal area. The University of Alabama found women who lifted weights were able to lose “deep belly fat” compared to women who only did cardio. So pick up the weights for getting rid of stubborn belly fat!
It’s low impact
No, you don’t have to get high impact to lose weight or get the muscle definition you always wanted. Low impact is easier on the joints and perfect for beginners who want to build endurance in the gym!
But don’t be fooled… The low-impact exercise of weight lifting can provide you with an aerobic workout. If you use compound movements with weight training you will increase your heart rate for aerobic benefits.
Try some of the following tips:
- Shorten your breaks in between lifting sets
- Add movements that work multiple muscle groups at once like squats, deadlifts, lunges, and more
One of the best benefits of weight lifting for women is how good you will feel mentally. Strength training especially with heavyweights has been found to relieve depression symptoms while helping anxiety suffers manage symptoms better.
JAMA Psychiatry in 2018 discovered resistance training reduces depression and anxiety symptoms by releasing “feel-good chemicals” like endorphins to promote feelings of happiness and lessen stress.
If you suffer from even occasion symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, weight lifting may help lessen or completely relieve your symptoms. However, for those diagnosed with depression and anxiety a combination of medication, therapy, and added strength training to a consistent exercise routine can help promote symptom relief and management.
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Balance blood sugar levels
According to the CDC, type 2 diabetes affects over 34 million people in the United States. While it primarily develops in people over the age of 45, younger generations are developing it as well. Thankfully, strength training may help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by balancing blood sugar levels.
A 2019 study conducted by Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that individuals with “moderate levels of muscle strength” lowered their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 32%. Further research indicates strength training helps to regulate insulin levels to promote balanced blood sugar levels.
With the research, it could be possible to balance your blood sugar levels and prevent type 2 diabetes if you’re in the prediabetic range with your AIC.
There are many benefits of weight lifting for women. It’s always important to discuss any new exercise program with a qualified provider before beginning to make sure weight lifting is an appropriate exercise program for you.
Another important aspect of weight lifting is to begin slowly. Don’t lift heavier weights than what you feel comfortable with. If you can lift a particular weight for 6 to 8 reps comfortably while still feeling the burn in your muscles- That’s a good starting point for the amount of weight to use.
Are you ready to turn a brand new page in your life by adding weight lifting to your regular exercise routine? Then, ditch the treadmill and grab a kettlebell or a set of dumbbells to start looking and feeling great about yourself!