Ok, if you just read the title and immediately reacted with, “I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to look bulky,” then this is 100% for you! (And, unfortunately, you are not alone in that feeling.)
A mere 25% of women strength train regularly, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. But we at Legacy Life Fitness know the reality of you getting as buff as The Incredible Hulk is slim-to-none so long as you focus on a healthy lifestyle and aren’t supplementing with steroids. In fact, there are many more reasons to include strength training into your regular workout routine than there are to exclude it… And none of them have to do with the scale!
- Strength training may improve your cognition and help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. A 2012 study “...found that resistance training was particularly beneficial for improving the cognitive abilities of older adults1.”
- It can also help to reduce your risk of diabetes2 as strength training causes your muscles to use more glucose for energy, which can lower your blood sugar levels.
- Even the American Heart Association advocates resistance training3 to help lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and chance of heart disease!
- You can increase your posture, improve balance, and improve bone density to help prevent osteoporosis. A publication released by the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging stated, “...high-intensity resistance training, in contrast to traditional pharmacological and nutritional approaches for improving bone health in older adults, has the added benefit of influencing multiple risk factors for osteoporosis including improved strength and balance and increased muscle mass4.”
- Skeletal muscle acts as an endocrine organ, suggesting it releases substances which may inhibit mammary cancer cell growth. A study from the University of Sydney “...found that strength training was significantly more likely than cardio to prevent premature death, especially cancer-related death5.”
- Strength training will improve your daily, functional strength so you’re physically stronger. (And getting stronger everyday is what it’s all about!)
- You’ll be able to sleep more soundly, allowing your body to fully rest and recover, which will give you additional energy for your next big lift.
- Become a role model to young girls by encouraging them to feel capable in their bodies. And if you’re looking for a female role model to follow, look no further than Serena Williams
- Last, but not least: you will feel more confident in your own body!
“I love my body, and I would never change anything about it. I’m not asking you to like my body. I’m just asking you to let me be me. Because I’m going to influence a girl who does look like me, and I want her to feel good about herself.”
- Serena Williams
There is one reason why women should not lift weights, however. Your new strength will also increase your performance in the gym, making you want to work harder and push yourself further to achieve new goals… so do be careful ?
1 Strength training key in preventing Alzheimer's
2 Resistance Training for Diabetes Prevention and Therapy: Experimental Findings and Molecular Mechanisms
3 Strength and Resistance Training Exercise
4 The effects of progressive resistance training on bone density: a review
5 Strength Training, Not Cardio, Helps Prevent Cancer: Study