Okay, we know you don’t want bulging biceps or thunderous thighs but hear us out, will you?
We’ve all heard it too many times – get ready to be called the female Hulk; does she not know that the weight room is for men only; stick to cardio if you want your bones to stay intact. BS. It’s nonsensical stereotypes like these that are keeping too many women from the numerous benefits of strength training.
Well, all that uncertainty, insecurity, and fear is goin’ outta the window ’cause strong is the new skinny, love. You may enjoy your time on the yoga mat or treadmill every morning but here’s why iron needs to be right up there on your fitness regimen.
Read on to know why women should lift weights:
Greater Fat Loss
Busy sweating buckets (and feeling good) on the Elliptical? Know that you’re burning calories only up till the moment you’re on it. But interestingly, when you’re busy with the barbell, you burn fat for hours, or even days, after you’ve stepped out of the gym.
What happens is that after an intense weight-training session, the fat stores in your body are used to repair the muscle breakdown. So, while life might seem terrible with those mad sore muscles, be happy because you’ve successfully turned your body into a mean (fat-burning) machine.
Leaner Muscle Mass
Bad news: Women lose an average of 22% of their total muscle mass by the time they hit 70. Worse news: This muscle void is then filled with fat. Worst news: Muscle mass is denser than fat, so the scale might seem like a friend, but your pant size will say a different story altogether.
No, you’re not gonna look like a nightclub bouncer, simply because you don’t have enough testosterone to do so, not even about 10% of the testosterone that men have. Here’s what it’ll do instead – develop muscle definition, enhance those curves, and tone your body. Hourglass goals, anybody?
Did you know that postmenopausal women are at a greater risk of osteoporosis because the body no longer secretes oestrogen? Speaking of that, resistance training from a younger age is an excellent way to combat loss of bone mineral density and negating the risks of bone deficiencies.
Deadlifts may scare the shit out of you, but they are one of the most effective ways of increasing spinal bone density. In fact, when you’re performing a bicep curl, your muscles tag at the bones, making the bones cells react and create newer cells. Know that none of these happen with the bones of ‘cardio bunnies.’
It might seem counterintuitive that pumping iron helps lower blood pressure, considering it shoots up during and right after your workout. But research proves that the blood pressure and resting heart rate of an individual is significantly lower the next morning.
In fact, 45 minutes of moderate-intensity resistance exercises can lower your blood pressure level by 20%, which is as good as popping blood pressure pills. Seems like cardiovascular activities aren’t the only thing that can keep you ticking in the longer run.
Better Quality Of Life
The weights section of your gymnasium is that one universal answer to all the red flags of a typical urban inactive lifestyle – stress-triggered mental issues, respiratory problems, erratic sleep patterns, and the added risk of multiple chronic disorders.
Healthier blood sugar levels, correct posture, reduced risks of injury, a faster metabolism rate and improved flexibility are also just some of the added advantages of befriending those dumbbells. If that’s not enough, the endorphins that are released during your workout are enough to keep mood swings out of your way.
Women Empowerment 101
From one self-declared feminist to another, lifting weights has the power to enhance self-determination like nobody’s business. As somebody who’s recently found love in weights and is constantly increasing the poundage of her workouts, the self-discovery has been nothing short of exhilarating. I’ve found inner strength, both mental and physical, that I never believed existed. Let me tell you that nothing feels as powerful as shattering your mental blocks.
From juggling between a demanding career and motherhood to moving heavy furniture, from fitting into the skinniest pair of jeans to going on long runs with your bestie – the mantra is very simple. Just two words actually - ladies, lift!