When you go to the gym, how are you exercising? If your routine is a long slog on an elliptical, stationary bike or treadmill, then you may want to consider shaking up your routine a bit: recent research indicates that a varied exercise routine—including strength training—is the best way to help our bodies and boost our wellbeing.
So why should all women consider lifting weights?
You Won’t Get Bulkier
The primary concern that most women have when they think about starting strength or resistance training is that they’ll end up with huge muscles and bulky limbs. It’s time to put that fear aside – women should be lifting weights more often to prevent natural muscle loss that occurs as we begin to age. If you’ve been avoiding weights because you’re scared of becoming too bulky, you don’t need to worry: women don’t have the anabolic hormones that men have – and these hormones are the key for developing larger muscles.
At the end of the day, if you want to achieve maximum health, then you need to get stronger – and that means lifting weights. The more weight training you do, the more positive changes you’ll experience throughout your body. Your metabolism will get faster—helping you to burn calories and banish fat—your bones will become denser, your central nervous system will become more resilient to stress, and even your hormone regulation will improve!
You’ll Fight Fat Faster
Forget about finding the ideal zone for fat-burning on the treadmill – according to studies and articles, strength training helps you banish belly fat faster than any form of cardio. Although aerobic exercise burns both muscle and fat, weight-lifting reserves its burning capabilities for fat exclusively. After a heavy workout with strength training, you’ll even continue to consume extra oxygen in the days and hours following – a process known as post-exercise oxygen consumption. As your body uses up more oxygen, it will expend more calories, and enhance your metabolic rate even further.
On top of that, the more muscles a woman has, the more calories she burns while at rest. In simple terms, even when you’re not lifting weights, your strength training will be turbo-boosting your fat loss.
Weight-training doesn’t just make you physically strong—though it’s true that studies have shown lifting weights to be a great way to increase bone density and build muscle—but strength training also helps to develop confidence. If your incorporate weight training into your fitness regimen, you will know exactly what you can accomplish and this will give you a sense of self-esteem and strength that exudes from your very personality. As we all know – confidence is an attractive quality, and something that can be beneficial to just about every aspect of your life.
Handle Stress and Be Happier
The more you break a sweat in the weight room, the more you’ll stay cool under pressure in daily life. Scientists have found that fitter people exhibit lower levels of stress than those who are less fit. What’s more, women who lift weights find that their blood pressure returns to normal faster than those with less muscle. Yoga isn’t the only way to relax – a Harvard study discovered that ten weeks of strength training did more to reduce clinical depression in participants than standard counselling.
Researchers from the University of South Carolina found that better body strength links to a lower risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease. Similarly, various scientists have found that maintaining strength during middle age leads to better survival which improves your chances of living to the age of 85 without suffering from any major disease.
Start Getting Stronger
Weight-lifting comes with a significant host of benefits that are impossible to ignore. As a woman, if you want to lead a happy and healthy life, then you should consider lifting weights.
Do you enjoy strength training now? What are your favorite weight-lifting exercises? Let us know in the comments!