There is a common misconception that lifting weights would make women big and bulky. With R2F starting its weight training classes, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is “is weight training suitable for women?”.
Given today’s fast paced lifestyle, the part exercising plays in our lives is becoming increasingly important. However, we repeatedly feel there is a lack of time or energy (or both) that prevents us from finding ENOUGH time to workout. Although cardiovascular exercises (such as running, walking, swimming) all have some health benefits, adding strength training to your fitness regimen can allow you to achieve your fitness goals more effectively. Here are some reasons all women should incorporate weight training into their workout routines:
· Burns more calories: As you lift more weights you increase your lean muscle mass. The good news here is according to several studies, it was found that 1 pound (0.45 kgs) of muscle burns about 10 calories per day, while the same amount of fat burns only 2 calories per day. Thus increasing your lean muscle mass allows you to burn more calories even while you are resting.
· Burns more fat: The way your body burns fat depends on its oxygen expenditure. Weight lifting increases the amount of oxygen your body requires and hence allows you to burn fat for a longer time even after your workout.
· Helps maintain bone mass: As we age we tend to lose bone mass and are at an increased risk of developing problems such as osteoporosis. This loss of bones mass is much more severe in women as they age. However, there is some good news; a study showed that women who lifted weights regularly for a year, increased their spinal bone mass by up to 10%. So lifting weights even 2-3 times per week can allow you to maintain your bone health in the long run.
· Reduces stress and anxiety: Research shows that weight training can increase the amount of dopamine (feel-good hormone) produced in the brain, thus leading to a significant reduction in stress and anxiety levels.