There has been a huge shift over the last few years with women embracing Strength Training and reaping the benefits. For many years women were encouraged to do aerobic activities and to avoiding bulking up by not lifting too many weights. The reality is most women will not bulk up due to female hormones limiting the ability of the female body to increase muscle mass. But given women have a similar musculoskeletal system to men then it stands to reason that the benefits to both sexes are similar.
Benefits include :
- Help prevent Injury
- Increase Metabolism
- Build Strong Bones
- Improve Mood
- Reduce Diabeties
- Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
- Improve Cardiovascular Health
- Reduce Blood Pressure
- Improved Posture
While many years ago in my 20s I would have had the occassionally visit to the gym to lift weights mostly with the assistance of fitness machines, it has only been the last 2 years as a Personal Trainer that I have come to appreciate the benefits of being stronger. After years of struggling to put my son’s paddleboard on the top of the car I was in awe one day when I managed to throw it on the roof with ease ! From carrying groceries to moving equipment the benefits of using weights has impressed me completely. On a psychological level I find it very empowering to have the feeling of a strong toned body and the ability to use more strength in every day activities. While I still love my cardio of running, swimming and cycling the use of weight strength training has improved my performance and definitely assisted in injury prevention.
On a recent trip to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal I was completely taken by the local Nepalese who were carrying from 70% to 125% of their own body weight up steep mountain paths over periods of up to 5 days. The are not very big people and watching them trekking redefined everything that I thought about strength and functional exercise. While they are conditioned from a young age to carry such weights it only reinforced how much our western sedentary lifestyle has impacted on our own abilities to have strong functional bodies.
So Ladies, my biggest recommendation to you is to start lifting ! Your body is going to thank you with feeling amazing. And while the internet is full of people doing crazy 100kg + deadlifts it is not necessary to lift super heavy weights to get the benefits. Body weighted resistance and lighter weights will still produce the positive results. For those of us who are getting a little bit older the likelihood of osteoporosis in women is approx 25%. Strength training can mitigate the onset of this.
And you don’t have to give up your walk or your cardio as these still have lots of benefits. A Fitness lifestyle shouldn’t be an either/or option but rather a balanced selection of exercises that contribute to overall health