Should Women Lift Weights?

Should Women Lift Weights?

The short answer to this question is yes. There’s this common misconception that women should stick to exercises such as running, cycling, dance classes, and yoga. Some people seem to think that weightlifting should be limited to just the guys. This is even a popular notion among lots of women.

Sure, if you’re a woman, to go ahead and get some cardio into your workout. But that doesn’t mean that lifting weights isn’t for you. Strength training and weightlifting actually offers plenty of benefits for women, believe or not. Here are some reasons why you should start incorporating some weight lifting into your workout routine:

More Calories Burned

Plenty of people work out seriously because they want to lose some weight. This is true for both men and women. For many years now, more than ⅔ of the US adult population is either overweight or obese, and it doesn’t matter what gender is involved.

If that’s your goal, then it’s not surprising if you’re doing some cardio. Cardio exercises aren’t just good for your heart, but they also burn a lot more calories than even strength training when you’re working out. But in overall terms, weightlifting can burn more calories.

This is because lifting weights leads to bigger muscles. To maintain those muscles throughout the day, your body burns up more calories. Basically, weightlifting boosts your metabolism, which is why it can burn more calories overall.

Better Cardio

Weightlifting surprisingly protects your heart in the long run. This seems counterintuitive at first, because your heart rate does go up during and right after your strength training sessions. But eventually, weightlifting leads to lower blood pressure.

How does this work? When you lift weights, your muscles contract. This action pushes blood back to your heart. Then your heart redistributes the oxygenated blood back to your muscles. This keeps your cardiovascular system working to maintain its health, which is what you’re also doing when you’re doing cardio exercises.

Stronger Bones

As you get older, your bones get weaker. You’re then more likely to get osteoporosis, which is involves weakening bones that make them more fragile. It’s a disease that affects up to 10 million Americans—and 80% of them are women.

The good news is that you can lift weights to strengthen your bones (in addition to making sure you get enough calcium each day). Lifting weights causes your body to engages your muscles that pull on the tendons. The tendons, in turn, pull on the bones. This added stress on the bones make them stronger, just as you stress your muscles to make them stronger.

Alleviates Stress

Weightlifting can alleviate your tension, and quite a few studies have helped lend credence to this idea. One study involved adults who did 3 strength workouts per week. They did biceps curls, lat pull-downs, and chest presses. After 10 weeks, the study indicated an 18% drop of depression among the group members.

Part of the reason for this is that weightlifting and other strenuous exercises cause the release of endorphins. These are the “feel good” chemicals in your brain.

In addition, strenuous workouts reduce your levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. This can help reduce your feelings of agitation and anxiety.

Final Words

If you’re a woman, then you don’t have to get worried about going to a gym with all those guys. Most guys in gyms these days are actually nice—if they even notice you at all. In general, they’re more focused on their own training. Plenty of gyms these days have lots of female members, and there are gyms such as Curves that cater exclusively to women.

So, join a gym, get your workouts in, and don’t forget to include weightlifting into your routine. Women aren’t really prone to building “unfeminine” muscles, though you can if you try hard enough. But the fact is that women just don’t have enough testosterone, so they generally get smaller muscles.

With just regular strength training, you can get stronger, still look feminine, and enjoy all these benefits we listed.

Total Body Strength Training Without Weights for Women

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