You’ve probably heard it before and you’re about to hear it again: Ladies, you need to start lifting.
I know what you’re thinking, you don’t want to get big and bulky, you just want to be nice and toned! First of all, let me assure you that you are not going to end up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger, or at least not accidentally. Not only do women have a different hormone profile to men, but creating a body builder’s physique also requires many years of strict dieting and a specific training regime. At the end of the day, you are in control of how muscular you want to be.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get down to the good stuff:
Muscle burns calories: Having more muscle means that your body requires more energy to carry out it’s daily tasks. That means that even sitting down reading this, your muscles are burning up to 4 times more calories compared to the equal amount of body fat – pretty impressive!
Lifting weight adds shape to your body: We’re all dreaming about that perfect figure, right? Shapely arms, toned legs, a peachy bum… the list goes on. The images that immediately spring to mind all feature visible muscle. Without it, we would look like skeletons! The best way to create curves in all the right places is to strengthen and grow the muscles in those areas through weight training.
It’s a great mental boost: Nothing feels as good as getting stronger. Being able to walk up to the weights with confidence and finding that the weight you struggled with 2 weeks ago has suddenly begun to feel lighter is great for your self-esteem. You learn to conquer moves that you were previously afraid of, and begin to try the things you have always wanted to do.
It’ll enhance your cardio performance: The great thing about an active lifestyle is that there are no rules on what you should or shouldn’t be doing; one day you might be bench pressing in the gym, and the next you are mountain biking in North Wales. Building up your muscle strength helps in all areas of your life – you will run faster, swim better, add power to your punches and be able to carry the food shopping bags with ease.
It’s great for your health: Not only will you look and feel better, studies have shown that people who train with weights generally have a better quality of sleep. When you are committed to a fitness regime, you are also more likely to make healthier food choices and increase your water consumption throughout the day. This means an increase in energy, a reduction in body fat, an improved body composition and more confidence... what’s not to love?