Weightlifting is one of the most advantageous types of exercise in the world. Unfortunately, many women are afraid to start lifting weights for a variety of reasons, including the fears of gaining too much muscle mass and feeling uncomfortable performing the exercises themselves. Additionally, weightlifting has been associated with masculine gyms that many women wouldn’t feel very comfortable working out in. Plunkett Fitness knows just how beneficial weight training is for women, however, so we strive to make our gym a comfortable place for everyone to work out. Here are a few benefits of weightlifting for women.
1. It Burns Fat
While there are many ways to burn fat, researchers at Tufts University discovered that lifting heavy weights just twice a week led to overweight women losing an average of 14.6 pounds of fat, while gaining 1.4 pounds of muscle. The control group of women only dieted, and these women were found to have lost an average of only 9.2 pounds while gaining no muscle.
Weight training is associated with both weight loss and metabolism boosting. In fact, your metabolism can stay at an elevated rate for up to 48 hours after an intense weightlifting session. While cardio exercise leads to fat burning, your body stops burning fat shortly after you finish the workout.
2. It Builds Strong Bones
As women age, they become much more likely to develop osteoporosis. However, weightlifting can help build and maintain bone mass. By using your muscles and bones to bear weight, you are strengthening them to bear more weight in the future. Keeping muscles and bones strong leads to increased flexibility and balance, both of which are important for women, especially as they age.
3. It Builds Strong Muscles
The most obvious reason that weightlifting benefits women is that it builds strong muscles. While this may not seem like a big deal to some, having strong muscles makes everyday tasks a lot easier. For example, women with young children know what it is like when a toddler decides they are too tired to walk. It isn’t always easy for a mom to carry a heavy toddler around. Weightlifting can make this task just a little bit easier.
The Mayo Clinic has determined that regular weightlifting can help women become 50 percent stronger in only six months. Strong muscles gained from weight training can also make women feel empowered—boosting emotional strength as well as physical strength.
4. It Keeps the Heart Healthy
Heart disease is the leading cause of death of women over the age of 25. In fact, more than 480,000 women succumb to the disease every year. However, lifting weights helps increase good cholesterol and decrease bath cholesterol. Additionally, frequent weightlifting lowers blood pressure.
5. It Keeps Blood Sugar Levels in Check
Weight training can help improve glucose utilization in the body by as much as 23 percent. In fact, the CDC says that 16 weeks of weightlifting can improve glucose metabolism a much as taking medication. It is also known that the more lean mass you have, the better your body is at removing glucose from the blood, which can prevent blood sugar spikes.
6. It Increases Energy
Weightlifting releases endorphins in the body, which help boost energy levels. Just 30 to 60 minutes of weight training can leave you feeling more energized.
Additionally, studies have found that weight training leads to better sleep. Getting more sleep each night has a number of different health benefits, including increased memory function and reduced stress. Plus, we just tend to feel better overall when we get enough sleep.
7. It Increases Confidence
All women have experienced moments where they lack confidence. Since weightlifting can change the way the body looks, many women have increased confidence within a few weeks of starting and weight training regimen. While the goal of strength training isn’t always necessarily to improve physical appearance, that is one of the reasons that many women feel more confident.
Additionally, feeling stronger can lead to improved confidence, as well. This increased strength can help women feel safer and more self-sufficient.
If you are interested in starting a weight training regimen, Plunkett Fitness can help. Our personal trainers offer both personal and group training classes that will teach proper form and give you all of the tools you need to successfully get involved with weightlifting. To meet with a trainer, call us today at 913-390-3360.