08 August 2016
Women, let’s face it! You’re handed out so much BS regarding your health and fitness that it’s irritating after a point.
The primary reason that might be holding you back from pumping some iron is the fear that you might bulk up and end up looking like a female version of The Hulk! Well, that’s so not happening. The most fundamental element required for bulking up is testosterone and women just don’t produce that enough.
According to most women’s fitness, the pinnacle of women’s fitness is remaining purposely weak and frail. Look into any issue of a famous women’s health magazine and it’s brimming with colourful photos of women standing one-legged lifting a 5-pound dumbbell while holding a yoga pose. This is certainly not going to help you get that Jen Selter-esque butt.
So what’s that one activity that can help women stay strong, burn calories, and build healthy bones? Weight training! And before you say “no thanks” to weights, take some time to question your pre(mis)conceptions and learn about the importance of weight training for women. Just because you're not striving for 20-inch biceps doesn't mean you can shun the weight room. Lifting weights gives you an edge over belly fat, stress, heart disease, and cancer—and it's also the single most effective way to look hot in a bikini and make your boyfriend jealous and possessive.
So here are 7 reasons why you must do away with your phobia and lift:
1. Most Effective Fat Loss
Research has shown that women who weight train lose more body fat than those who don’t. Pumping iron also increases lean muscle mass, which is known to increase your resting metabolism. So, you’ll burn more calories even while doing nothing!
2. Preserves Muscle Mass
It's a fact that as you age, your muscle mass starts to diminish. You can counter this phenomenon through weight training. As you get older, the fat percentage in your body increases. In effect, you lose lean muscle. In order to maintain lean muscle and curb the rise of body fat percentage, you must lift. Weight training helps preserve and enhance your muscle mass, regardless of your age.
3. Makes You Stronger and Fitter
Weight training is also known as resistance training because it involves strengthening and toning your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. There are two types of resistance training:
Isometric resistance, which involves contracting your muscles against a non-moving object such as against the floor in a push-up. Isotonic strength training, which involves contracting your muscles through a range of motion as in weight lifting.
Both make you stronger and can get you into better shape. Remember that with strength training your muscles need time to recover, so it should be done in a way that each muscle group gets enough time to recover. Make sure to take some time to warm up and cool down before and after strength training.
4. Decrease Injury Risk
Building muscle effectively protects your joints from injury and increases your overall body balance and co-ordination. This becomes increasingly important to help you maintain your independence as you age.
5. Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis
As you age, the risk of losing both bone and muscle mass increases. Postmenopausal women stand a higher risk of osteoporosis because their bodies no longer secrete oestrogen. Weight training is the best way to combat reducing bone density. Frequently lifting weights slows down bone deterioration and helps bones grow stronger, thereby reducing chances of osteoporosis drastically.
6. Improved Athletic Performance
Research has shown that weight training improves athletic ability in all but the very elite athletes. Golfers can significantly increase their driving power. Cyclists are able to continue for longer periods of time with less fatigue. Skiers improve technique and reduce injury. Whatever sport you play, weight training has been shown to improve overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury.
7. Stress Relief
Exercise in general is a great way to manage stress. Researchers have consistently found that those who regularly strength train tend to manage stress better and experience fewer adverse reactions to stressful situations as those who do not exercise. Working out boosts the secretion of endorphins, which help uplift your mood and keep you calm in stressful situations.
In addition, resistance-training studies have shown that moderate intensity weightlifting improves memory and cognitive function. Next time you need to blow off some steam, hit the weights.