There are so many benefits of weight training for both males and females. Luckily the stereotype of lifting weights making women "bulky" is slowly dissipating, making way for healthier future generations. So whilst most people now know that lifting weights has countless benefits for the physical body, it can also bring about benefits to the mental and emotional body too.
So why should we care about having muscles?
Firstly, muscle is imperative to the health and operation of the physical body, because we require muscles to live.
There are 3 types of muscle in the human body: smooth muscles, cardiac muscles and the skeletal muscles.
Both smooth muscles and the cardiac muscle (heart muscle) are involuntary. Meaning that we are unable to control them consciously. This is how all the organs in our body are able to function without us having to think about it. Despite their involuntary nature, their function is still improved by regular physical activity.
The skeletal muscles are our voluntary muscles that require us to control and move them consciously. This is how we can move around and do the activities required in our daily lives. The purpose of having adequate skeletal muscles in obvious. Without them we would not be able to move our skeleton and function in the world around us... so it makes sense that we would like to look after their health.
So here are the top 10 reasons women should lift heavy weights:
IMPROVES FAT BURNING & METABOLISM
Muscle is active tissue which requires more calories at rest to maintain itself than fat. Therefore, if we have more muscle on our body, our total calorie requirements are higher, meaning that we have the ability to burn more fat even whilst watching Netflix.
INCREASES BONE DENSITY
At the age of 30, women reach their peak bone density, after which bone density begins to decline. Weight bearing places load upon the bones therefore encouraging them to stay strong and healthy, with far less risk of later developing osteoporosis.
PREVENTS MUSCLE LOSS
This becomes especially important between the ages of 30 to 40, when our muscles, if unused, begin to atrophy. Atrophy is simply the process of being broken down. This is completely avoidable if the muscles are exposed to heavy weight bearing. If muscles are being used, the body is more inclined to hold on to as much muscle tissue as possible. Ultimately leading to a better looking physique, a higher metabolism and less body fat.
Women hate the thought of a saggy butt or flabby arms and lifting weight improves all of it. The increase in muscle, increases the metabolism which helps to shift unwanted body fat from these areas, giving the appearance of beautiful, toned, feminine muscles.
CREATES SEXY CURVES
No one wants their butt to look like a pancake and squats, lunges and dead lifts will help you to get you a beautiful, bikini-ready booty. Want sexy rounded shoulders too? Shoulder presses and lateral raises are just two exercises that can help you get there.
IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE
For people who think going to the gym is all about getting buff like Arnold - they are wrong. Exercises like squats and dead-lifts are performed all day by people in their every day lives. The risk of bending over and pulling something, is much less likely if that motion if regularly performed in a workout routine. Muscle strain is so common in the elderly because of poor muscle tone and muscle atrophy due to lack of exercise. It is never to late to start a workout routine!
MEDITATION & AWARENESS
Being at the gym and lifting weights helps to bring you into the present moment. You must concentrate on the muscles you are working and how they are moving. If you allow it, this can become a very healthy practice of meditation and can help you to connect to your own body's source of health and vitality.
HAVE A POSITIVE OUTLOOK
Wanting to become healthier and happier is a choice. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are also looking to improve their lives, will help improve your outlook on life to be more positive. You can do it!
CREATE HEALTHY HABITS
Going to the gym and exercising is a healthy habit to adopt. When one healthy habit sneaks into your life, others often follow. If you start going to the gym, you might start eating healthier and being more active in day to day activities which will lead to positive changes in all aspects of your life.
COMPETE IN A COMPETITION
There are so many fitness competitions these days for people looking for something more competitive and rewarding to inspire and keep their motivation to stay healthy and exercise high. Cross fit has become very popular as have Power Lifting and Body Building Shows. If you're a competitive person, perhaps one of these is for you!
Well if that hasn't convinced you I don't know what will.
Just get started! Join a gym, attend group classes, or if you don't know where to start at all, buy a copy of our Beginners Guide to Lifting available here.