Everyone has seen the adverts showing men lifting weights and looking great, but who knew weightlifting was equally beneficial to women? Researchers have recently found compelling reasons for women to start lifting weights too, but the number of women following this advice is still very small. Here are the top ten reasons you should hit the weights…
1. It’ll make you strong!
Including weights in your exercise program will help strengthen the muscles. Recent studies have shown that even moderate weight training can increase a women’s overall strength by 50%. Wouldn’t you love to show your boyfriend/husband that you are not just a fragile girl. And imagine all the extra shopping bags you can carry!
2. It’ll tone you up!
A woman who weight trains three a week for two months will lose thirty pounds of fat, and gain four pounds of muscle. This means you’ll appear much slimmer, and weigh less too! And who doesn’t like a super toned body like all the hot celebrities out there.
Only Steroids and HGH will make women bulk up this
Unlike men, women will not appear “bigger” because of more muscle unless they are taking anabolic steroids or human growth hormone drugs. That is of course if you lift appropriate weights and don’t overdo it like female body builders who have their own reasons for doing so. When done right, your body will get toned and you will look slimmer much like a sports woman from the Olympics!
4. It makes your bones STRONGER!
Weight training increases the vitality of the bones, and prevents osteoporosis, a horrible and sometimes crippling illness. Bone density improves around 20% in six months of weight training, but improves fastest when teamed with a high calcium diet.
5. You’ll be healthier!
Not only will your bones be strong, your muscles and connective tissues will improve too, meaning you are much less likely to pull or strain muscles, or to suffer from arthritis which even though quite a common foot problem can be avoided. A 12 year study conducted recently showed that strengthening the muscles in the lower back reduced back pain by 80%!
6. You protect your heart!
Weight training is proven to lower bad cholesterol, and blood pressure. These are both key signs of unhealthiness, which can really affect your heart, so keeping them as low as possible is important. If you weight train and do a form of cardiovascular exercise, the benefits are maximised.
Ernestine Shepherd World"s Oldest Bodybuilder at 75 years old!
7. It’s never too late!
Even women in their 80’s and 90’s can benefit from learning to weight train, as long as it is done in a safe environment. The benefits can be enjoyed at any age and your resultant healthy heart will thank you!
8. You’re less likely to suffer from diabetes!
Weight training appears to improve the body’s ability to process sugar, which reduces the chances of diabetes. Of course there are cures for diabetes. But prevention is better than cure right? Training can improve glucose usage by 23% in the first two months! As diabetes is a growing problem, this is a huge benefit.
9. You will improve your outlook!
Ten weeks of weight training has been proven to increase confidence and fight depression, due to feeling capable and the feel good hormones being released. What a perfect way to keep your mind and body healthy!
10. You’ll increase your performance!
Training will make everyday activities much easier, so whether you can cycle that bit further or run that bit faster, you’ll see the difference in your everyday life, too. It can even help with hobbies such as golf! And let me not even begin to state the great effects it will have on your sex life!
Staying fit can be hard work, and with so many suggestions, you feel like it’s much easier to just stick to the treadmill. The benefits of weight training are unbeatable though, so get down to a gym and see what your personal trainer recommends. I did, and now I love it! Plus, you never know who you’ll meet… Have you started lifting weights, and felt the benefits? Please share your stories!
Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter