There’s a lot of myths out there about women lifting weights, and women often end up worrying they’ll get “bulky” or “manly”. I put together my top 5 reasons women should lift to cut through the misinformation and give you real information about what lifting weights can do for you.
1. Better body composition
Unfortunately, women have been sold the message that in order to lose weight/fat we need to do endless amounts of cardio.
The downside of this is that we’re likely to lose both fat and muscle mass so we end up looking like smaller versions of ourselves, but with roughly the same body fat to muscle mass ratio.
When you incorporate weights into your exercise regime, you can lose fat and maintain muscle mass (and perhaps increase it) which is good for women as they get older.
2. You sleep better
Lifting weights helps increase the quality of your sleep and can also reduce the number of times you wake up in the night.
Not only that, but getting sufficient sleep can help you deal better with the stresses of daily life.
Sleep is especially important when you’re lifting or doing any other fitness regime because it helps your body recover, so make sure you get plenty of sleep!
3. Better mental health and stress relief
Weight lifting can help improve your mental health and reduce your stress levels. I know that if I don’t lift for a week (e.g., if I go on holiday) then I really feel the need to get back to it when I come home.
I lift weights first thing in the morning and this really helps set me up for the day ahead. It also helps me manage daily stressors much better.
I’ve written about the mental benefits of exercise in this blog post.
4. More confidence
I’ve seen some awesome changes in my body since I started lifting which have really helped with my body confidence. I’ve been able to wear outfits I wouldn’t have considered wearing before, and this is all because I feel much better in my own skin.
It’s worth bearing in mind that you certainly don’t have to be lean to be body confident. There are ladies out there of all sorts of shapes and sizes who feel that lifting weights helps them feel good about themselves; another reason why women should lift!
5. Increases bone density
As we enter the menopause, us women are more at risk of developing osteoporosis, because we stop producing oestrogen.
This is another great reason why women should lift because lifting weights helps to increase bone density and it can therefore help reduce the risk of these problems later in life.
How to get started?
I hope this post has inspired you with the reasons why women should lift, and helped dispel the myths surrounding women lifting weights. Weight lifting has changed my life and the life of so many other women.
If you want to give it a go, but aren’t sure where to start it might be useful to search for personal trainers in your area to see if they can help you. You might also want to ask friends/colleagues to see if they can make a personal recommendation.
Just be aware, that any personal trainer who says women shouldn’t lift heavy isn’t fully informed, so make sure you choose carefully!
Good luck on your lifting journey!