7 Reasons women should lift weights

Some women fear that lifting heavy weights will make them bulky, but this is unlikely because women have 10 to 30 less of the hormones that cause hypertophy. Lifting heavy weights can help women feel healthier, stronger and more confident in everything they do. Resistance training can benefit women in all aspects of their lives, from feeling comfortable in their clothes, to being able to move something heavy, through to dealing with anything stressful. Here are some of the benefits of weight lifting...

 

1. It’s key to losing fat 
Weight lifting increases your body's ability to burn fat during and after exercise - your body uses more oxygen, requires more caloric expenditure and it increases your metabolic rate. As you increase strength and lean muscle mass, your body uses calories more efficiently. 

 

2. Reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes
Lifting weights makes it less likely that you will have heart disease risk factors such as a large waist circumference and high triglycerides (blood fats). It will also improve your cardiovascular health which will help to lower your blood pressure. Using weight training as part of your routine will also improve the way your body processes sugar, which may reduce the risk of diabetes.

 

3. Strengthens your bones
Osteoporosis is the decrease in bone density that weakens the bone structure. The risk of osteoporosis increases with age and women are four times more likely than men to develop it because bone loss speeds up after the menopause as ovaries stop producing oestrogen. One way to increase bone density is to repeatedly use greater loads on the bones which can be achieved through resistance training. New formation of bone develops on the bone’s outer surface, creating stronger bones that are less likely to fracture. Because of bone and muscle loss, postmenopausal women should continue regular progressive resistance training as long as their health allows.

 

4. Decreases your risk of injury
Lifting weights not only builds stronger muscles but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability.  This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury.

 

5. Improves sleep
Weight lifting improves your ability to fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. You will also be less restless as you sleep and it can also release some of your worries.

 

6. It's anti-ageing 
After women reach the age of 30, muscle density starts to decrease and the trend continues as they get older. Lean body mass can decrease 15 percent between the ages of 30 and 80. This loss is accompanied by a decrease in overall strength. Follow a well-planned resistance training program that increases the size of muscle fibres and this will help combat the age-related loss of muscle that normally occurs in women.

 

7. Boosts stamina and energy levels
When you are stronger you have more energy for day to day tasks and you don’t get anywhere near as tired.

 

Above all, weight lifting: 

  • Improves your mood and confidence 
  • Gives a sense of achievement 
  • Creates a constant challenge 
  • Improves body control and awareness 
  • Helps you feel strong and toned

 

How to get started?
Where you start with weight training depends on your current experience and fitness level. If you have trouble with basic movements and balance, seek guidance from a Personal Trainer who can ensure you are using proper form to prevent injuries and to get the most out of your workout. 
You can also learn a lot by joining one of our weightlifting exercise classes such as Kettlebells or Sculpt. You can also book a Gym Health Assessment to get one-to-one advice with one of our Health and Fitness Advisors, just talk to reception to book. 
 

ymca | 16 June 2021