Back in the 80s and 90s free weights for most women were, for the most part, taboo. If you were lifting dumbbells around this time they were probably light and made out of plastic. You would drop an aerobics tape to your VCR and do countless reps of tricep and bicep exercises to get skinny toned arms. Today, we now know, they were wrong. You see more and more women pumping iron and making it a part of a well balanced workout because it really does make a difference in how they look and feel. Getting toned and having stronger bones is just a few common reasons why lifting weights is good for you. In this article, I am going to share with you some other reasons why it is beneficial and can make a good investment to your overall health as you age.
Here are just a few advantages to lifting weights for today’s female body.
You were probably not expecting to see this at the top of my list, but to me it is the most important reason why any woman should start lifting iron. Feeling stronger is empowering and I have seen it time and time again with my female clients – read Tracy’s success story. We all know that physical activity can help us with mild to moderate depression. So, when we are able to tap into some of these feel good hormones it can make us feel confident, energetic, stronger and in return you look more confident.
Burn through more calories
Most articles will claim that for every pound of muscle in your body you can burn up to 6-10 calories per day at rest . That may be true to some degree. However, more importantly, having more muscle means you are stronger overall and this is beneficial for doing other activities. You will be able to perform better, push yourself harder during your current workouts, feel lighter, and be more energetic throughout your day. You will easily burn through more calories just being active.
Increase your flexibility
Most people still think that lifting weights is going to make them less flexible, but it is the complete opposite. I have seen this countless times with my own clients. In fact, James R. Whitehead, EdD, of the University of North Dakota proved with a recent study on stretching vs strength training. He quotes;
“Our results suggest that full-range resistance training regimens can improve flexibility as well as, or perhaps better than, typical static stretching regimens,”
Strengthen Your Heart and Lungs
You don’t have to go for a long vigorous runs or bike rides -which can be hard on your joints and bad for your posture- to get cardiovascular improvements. Through strength training you can decrease your blood pressure and lower your resting heart rate. Lifting weights will not make your lungs any stronger, however, it can increase your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to the muscle through the hemoglobin system. All of this can be done through circuit training: doing one exercise after another with no breaks. This gets your heart rate up and gets you breathing heavily. In this way, you increase your VO2 Max, improving your body’s cardiovascular system.
Regulate your blood sugar levels
If you are diabetic you probably have a good idea that exercise can improve the way you regulate your blood sugar levels. This is also true for individuals who are not diabetic.Through high intensity interval weight training, you tap into some of that stored blood sugar. In return, you will be able to metabolize carbs through regulated insulin and lose weight.
Have better balance and improve your posture
You probably already know that with the proper strength training exercises you can improve your posture, but did you know that this can also improve your balance? It makes sense if you think about it, try standing up, lean forward with a hunchback then have someone push you.
If you’re limited in time like me, and want to cover all the health benefits that fitness has to offer, you might want to consider weight training circuits. It truly is armor for the body and has many healthy benefits that some exercise systems can’t offer. This is why you see more and more women lifting weights.
Not sure on how to lift weights or just want to make sure you are doing it properly? Please contact me and I can help you with your program through Personal Training or you can join one of my Group HIIT programs.
Posted by Burke