In most gyms, women are confined to cardio exercises and very few are seen lifting weights. Lifting weights are considered to be the forte of men. There is a strong stereotype associated with this phenomenon. Many women are insecure, unsure and fearful of lifting weights. There are many reasons for this. Following are some misconceptions that prevent women from lifting weights:
- Lifting weights make women bulky
- It is not good for the joints
- You cannot stop once you start lifting weight as all that muscle turns into fat if when you stop
These misconceptions are only feeding into the stereotypes and preventing women from enjoying the many benefits of lifting weights.
Here are some reasons why women should lift weights:
Accelerates Fat Loss
A common misconception is that weight lifting is only for building muscle and adding size. Well, this is not true. In fact, weight lifting is more effecting in burning fat when compared to cardio. A study by Obesity has confirmed that weight lifting is far more efficient in losing the belly fat when compared to cardio. Another advantage of lifting weights is that it exclusively burns fat whereas aerobic exercises burn muscle and fat.
Burns More Calories
It’s a simple scientific fact that the more muscle you have, greater the energy used by your body. That is, muscle mass determines the body’s metabolic rate. Every activity your body indulges in, including trivial activities such as sleeping, brushing your teeth and using your phone, burns calories. Muscle contractions that you experience throughout the day burn calories. Sitting burns fewer calories than standing; standing burns fewer calories than walking; walking burns fewer calories than running. The more lean mass you have, more muscle contractions you have during the day and greater calories you will burn.
Shapes Your Curves
As you start building your muscle, your body starts to take a nice hourglass shape. This is something that you will not benefit from doing only cardio as it burns both fat and muscle. With the loss of muscle and fat, you will lose you curves too. Lifting weights is a great way to retain those curves as they only burn fat. It does not matter if you have already lost your curves. Lifting weights also helps you create those curves.
National Institute of Health published a study that claims that there is a chronic increase in energy expenditure even after a small amount of weight lifting. This has a direct effect on fat oxidation and energy balance. Therefore, lifting weights improves psychological well-being and gives an energy boost. Hence, it is a great alternative to a cup of coffee in the afternoon.
Lifting weights greatly improves the health of your heart and reduces the risk of heart diseases. Heart is in fact as a muscle and you train it as you do with any other muscle in your body. Against popular belief, cardio is not the only way to train your heart. Combining cardio with strength training is proven to more effective in improving heart health along with improving blood lipid profiles.
According to a study published by International SportMed Journal, resistance or high-intensity training improves the quality and length of the sleep. You are bound to experience deeper sleep with fewer awakenings in the night. Also, it helps you fall asleep faster.
Improves Bone Health
With age, the risk of losing muscle mass and bone mass also increases. Also, women are at a greater risk of osteoporosis and osteopenia. Recent studies have shown that postmenopausal women are at a much greater risk as body stops secreting estrogen. Weight training is a great way to combat this as they provide the loading or mechanical stimuli necessary for maintaining and improving bone health. As bone mass increases the risk of fractures also decreases. Therefore, lifting weights is a great way to reverse bone degeneration.
The Myth of Becoming Bulky
One of the myths that stop women from lifting weights is that it makes them bulky. This is absolutely not true. In fact, it makes you stronger, curvier and more confident. It helps you have a good body image, which is a great confidence booster.
To sum it up, lifting weights has many positive benefits. It helps you feel strong and confident. Lifting weights has a positive impact on all aspects of your life and empower you. So, let go of those cardio exercises and starting lifting weights today.