If you ask women what they do for exercise, many will say something cardio related. Women tend to shy away from lifting weights for a number of reasons, from fear of bulking up to thinking they are not strong enough. The fact is, weight training is an effective way for women to get in great shape.
Here are some reasons women should lift weights:
1. You’ll gain muscle and burn fat.
By developing your muscles through weight training, your body automatically becomes more efficient at burning fat. For every single pound of muscle gained, your body burns 30 to 50 more calories just to maintain it. Don’t worry about “becoming bulky”…it won’t happen.
2. You’ll get stronger.
Training with heavy weights leads to a stronger body that’s less susceptible to injury, which means taking on daily activities that require any form of lifting get easier.
3. Your butt will tone up.
Weight training exercises can perform miracles on your butt.
4. Your metabolism will speed up.
Weight training speeds up your metabolism, and this heightened “afterburn” effect can continue for more than 24 hours after you finish your workout. This means more calories are being used up. And remember, as you gradually gain more muscle, your body naturally burns more calories, too. Longer term, your body’s calorie requirements will increase through regular weight training.
5. Your bones will get stronger.
Bone mass begins to decline gradually with age, but women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis.
6. Weight training fights heart disease.
Weight training strengthens not only your muscles but also your ticker.
7. Your workouts will become more enjoyable.
No matter what stage you’re at—a complete beginner or fairly experienced gym-goer—you can achieve rapid gains in strength through weight training. This will leave you excited and absolutely buzzing.
8. Weight training strengthens the mind.
Probably the most underrated benefit of weight training is how amazing it is for the mind. A healthy body means a healthy mind because the two are absolutely connected.
Exercise releases endorphins—feel-good chemicals in the brain—to boost your mood and relieve excess stress. Staying committed to a weight training program and experiencing these benefits regularly helps maintain a more balanced you.
9. Your confidence will increase.
The stronger mind and stronger body go hand in hand, and these naturally result in increased confidence. Weight training gives you so many reasons to feel good about yourself—looking healthier, becoming fitter and stronger, reducing risk of disease, and hitting exercise goals.
10. Your chance of injury will decrease.
If you perform weight training exercises correctly, you don’t need to worry about getting injured in the gym. More importantly, they will also cut your risk of injury outside of the gym. This is because lifting iron strengthens tendons and ligaments, and develops both bone and muscle strength.
11. You can ditch the treadmill.
If you’re burning out on the treadmill, here’s something to think about: Weight training provides cardiovascular benefits and will help you develop a better, stronger, more athletic physique.
Source: adapted from http://www.mindbodygreen.com