When I first started to lose weight, my number one goal was a smaller number on the scale. That was my sole focus. (Well, that and I REALLY wanted to wear a smaller pants size, if I’m being totally honest.) I never wanted to lift weights, never wanted to grow any muscle – I just wanted to avoid embarrassment if the tag on my shirt was sticking out.
Once I had been successful with the weight loss, though, I was still unhappy with the look of my body. Reading online one day, I was struck by the idea of lifting weights, but I didn’t want to bulk up. I gave it a try, though, and now I’m addicted. Lifting weights is terrific for women and the benefits are endless. Here are my top five.
- Lifting weights will make you physically stronger. This has benefits that go beyond the obvious, such as carrying in the groceries or wrestling with a tight jar lid – and means that you will be less dependent upon others in your daily living. (It also makes it easier to wrestle with that recalcitrant toddler – but don’t tell them that!)
- Lifting weights will help you lose body fat. The average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3-5 pounds of fat. As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, and you burn more calories all day long. That’s a win for me!
- Lifting weights won’t cause you to bulk up. Women have less of the hormones that cause muscle bulk, so lifting will help the muscles to define and this helps your clothes both fit and look better.
- Lifting will decrease your risk of osteoporosis. Research has found that weight training can increase bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months. This, coupled with taking your daily calcium, means less bone fractures later in life.
- Lifting weights helps improve your attitude and mood. Women who strength train feel more confident and capable, both of which are important factors in fighting depression.