There is a common misconception amongst women that if they incorporate weights into their workout they will bulk up and get too big, resembling more of a man than a woman.
There are a number of physiological differences between men and women that prevents this from happening. Women do not have the testosterone levels or consume enough calories needed to put on lots of mass. Adding weights to your workout will not turn you into The Incredible Hulk!
There are some incredible health benefits to weight training:
- Increases your metabolic rate which means you get leaner and burn more body fat than cardio training.
- Increases the number of calories burnt whilst resting. Muscles need energy to repair and upgrade muscle fibres after each weight training workout so even when your workout is over the calories you are burning continues.
- Muscle definition/tone is achieved faster than by cardio alone.
- Reduces risk of osteoporosis and builds stronger bones-research indicates weight training increases bone density and increases the blood levels of osteocalcin (a marker of bone growth)
- Reduces risk of injury, back pain & arthritis-weight training gives you stronger muscles, connective tissues and joint stability. It reinforces joints and helps prevent injury
- Helps lower stress levels by reducing stress hormones in the body
- Improves diabetes-research indicates weight training improves glucose utilisation in the body
- Healthier heart-weight training gets the blood pumping which reduces blood pressure and therefore the risk of heart attack and stroke
- Improves functional strength – weight training will improve you day to day strength. You will soon find that you no longer need helping lifting heavy items.
- Helps depression and strengthens mental health. Exercising releases chemicals called endorphins which increase your self-esteem and give you a natural ‘high’.
Weight training should be an essential part of your workout and no longer viewed as something to be avoided. It is never too late to benefit, women in their 70’s and 80’s can build significant strength through weight training. Still not convinced? Check out 73 year old Joan MacDonald’s website for inspiration https://www.trainwithjoanofficial.com/