Even though cardio workouts are great for your heart, weight lifting or strength training workouts are important for keeping your body healthy, too. Men and women should be working out regularly with weights in order to maintain or improve joint mobility, boost their metabolisms, and burn more calories than cardio can alone. Unfortunately, women tend to avoid strength training and focus on cardio work outs. That’s a mistake.
Many women avoid lifting weights because they think that lifting will create unwanted bulky muscles, especially in their arms. However, regular weight lifting will tone arms but, for women, this won’t result in bulky muscles. Weightlifting has a lot of benefits for women as part of a regular workout routine. Strength training is a great way for women to lose weight and become more fit. It is easy to get started. Simply search for “gyms near me” to find gyms with free weighs. If this is your first experience with strength training, have a trainer show you how to get started with a series of weight lifting moves.
Here are some of the biggest reasons why women should be working out with weights in addition to doing regular cardio workouts:
Lifting weights increases your bone density. For women, who have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis and brittle bones as they get older, increasing bone density now can mean avoiding some serious health problems later on. Several studies have proven that working out with weights can dramatically lower bone loss in post-menopausal women and can increase bone density overall. Strength training is a fantastic way for women to prevent bone loss as they get older and make sure that they have the strength and flexibility to stay healthy at any age.
Confidence and Empowerment
When you lift weights and feel strong, that feeling of strength will carry over into every area of your life. Women who lift report feeling stronger mentally and emotionally as well as physically. Women who feel strong are better able to tackle life challenges, work challenges, and other problems that come up in their lives. Empowerment and higher self-esteem are just two of the many great benefits that women get from working out with weights regularly. Women who join gyms and work out with weights also report forming stronger friendships with the women they workout with. Strength training enhances your self-esteem and sense of purpose as much as it strengthens your body. Lift weights and you’ll soon notice a big boost in your confidence.
Burn More Calories
You can actually burn more calories as a result of working out with weights. That’s because the more muscle you have, the more muscles you have to burn calories. Even sitting at your desk, watching TV or surfing the internet, you’ll be burning more calories. Increasing your muscle mass speeds up your metabolism so that you’ll lose weight even without a lot of extra cardio exercise. If weight loss is your goal, strength training will help you reach that goal faster than just doing cardio.
Studies have shown that a full-scale strength training regimen can help women increase their flexibility as much as doing yoga or similar activities. Good flexibility is very important for maintaining mobility, especially in older women. If yoga isn’t your thing and you don’t enjoy other flexibility-focused activities like Pilates, you can get the same results from a comprehensive strength training workout with weights. This flexibility can improve your joint mobility and posture.
Decrease Joint Pain
If you suffer from joint pain that makes cardio workouts difficult or even impossible, strength training can reduce or eliminate your joint pain. That’s because as your muscles get stronger they will hold your joints in place more effectively. That will decrease the pain in the joint and lower or even get rid of your joint pain. That’s why many doctors recommend strength training for patients with medical conditions like arthritis. As you get older having strong muscles is critically important for keeping your body healthy and pain free.
You Can Drop a Dress Size or More
While working out with weights and strength training regimens can lead you to have a higher overall body weight, that’s because muscle weighs more than fat but muscles are more compact. However, even if your body weight goes up or stays the same you’ll drop a dress size or even several dress sizes because your body will be burning fat more effectively. You will lose inches rapidly and look toned. It’s actually very difficult to get the kind of massive physique that a bodybuilder has. A weight training workout at a gym isn’t going to bulk you up like that. It’s going to make your body burn more fat and make you look slimmer and more toned.