Often I hear women refer to how easy it was to stay slim in their 20s When I think back to that time, I recall a time of trying the latest diets and busting my butt at aerobic style classes five times a week whilst throwing in a few dumbbell weighted exercises. Did I feel my best? Looking back, the answer is no.
When I hit almost 30, I realised the secret. Well, it’s not really a secret because there’s so much information out there telling you that if you want to achieve better body results you have to lift weights (the heavier, the better). Let me assure you, the internet is not lying! I achieved my best physique once I started lifting heavy weights. And did I feel my best? Yes.
If you’re still not convinced enough to lift weights, here are more reasons why you should:
Muscles increase your metabolism
The simple fact is that muscles require energy to function. Energy comes in the form of calories. So in order for your muscles to work, which they constantly are – even at rest – they will use up calories. Fat on the other hand doesn’t require calories and fat is what fat does – just sits there collecting as fat! *The more muscles a woman has, the more calories she will burn at rest.
Get leaner, not bulkier
The biggest misconception when it comes to lifting weights is that one will end up looking too bulky. Women do not have the amount of testosterone necessary to support a bulky physique (even some men find it hard to bulk up). You would have to dedicate yourself to 5-6 times a week of serious weight training and take supplements to achieve a bulky physique, and even then you might not. Whilst some of us are more prone to have more muscle density than others, which means that some women can obtain a more muscular look with less effort, as a general rule you have to train really hard for bulk. Furthermore the diet plays an important role. Training for bulk versus training for fat loss have very different nutrient requirements.
*Get quicker results by lifting weights.
The importance of healthy bones
As we age we begin to lose bone density. This is accelerated during menopause. Research shows that lifting weights increases bone denisty. It is not something we think about in our 20s and 30s, but think of the potential issues you can keep at bay if you start lifting weights at an earlier age, rather than later and trying to make up for lost time.
*Prevent fractures and falls by having stronger bones.
Be your own help
Have you ever been at home and felt the need to rearrange all the furniture, but you can’t for the fear of hurting yourself or simply because you can’t lift the couch? Or you have 10 shopping bags in the car and you wish you could just do one trip? Well lifting weights makes you stronger, which means you are more capable of doing a lot more things on your own.
*Help isn’t always available and we need to prepare ourselves for those times.
Strong is the new sexy… really it is!
Strong women radiate confidence, and confidence is a very attractive quality. Having the ability to achieve impressive feats at the gym helps to build your confidence. Unleashing this outer strength taps into your inner strengths and you bring this into other aspects of your life.
*Nothing is impossible.
Do note that I’m not asking you to toss aside your dance class or your love for running. What I am suggesting is that if you want better results - add in the weights. I can promise that you will not only feel but you will also see the results. Of course, much of this will be dependent upon your diet too, as a bad diet can sabotage any training programme.