Lifting weights is something that I honestly never thought I would do. When I lost my weight (25 kilos) I did it mainly through running and good nutrition (of course). There were other exercises involved in my program but I never really took them seriously as all I wanted to do was get skinny and running is what was doing it for me. However, running is very hard on the body and the inevitable strain and injuries started to make it not so much fun anymore. Someone suggested I should do a weight lifting program and I laughed. Like many women I thought I would bulk up and lose that feminine look. Well, I was so wrong!!! I think it was at the end of the first week of lifting and I was hooked.
You see, I was skinny but was still carrying around more body fat than muscle. Besides the obvious fat that we see just under our skin, body fat gathers around our organs as visceral fat (not so easy to see) which can play havoc with our health, in fact it can increase the risk of
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Alzheimer's disease
So while on the outside I was receiving compliments about my weight loss, I was what many refer to as "skinny fat". So I began to lift weights and have not looked back.
Building muscle is so important for women. We take our youth for granted and before we know it things start heading south, and we don't feel quite as strong or vibrant anymore. However, it is never too late to start. I was in my 40's when I started lifting and I plan to be lifting for a very long time to come yet.
So what are the other benefits of weightlifting for women?
- Bone Density
- Improve heart health
- Stress relief
- Burn more calories
- More muscle/less body fat
- Get curves
- Get strong without getting bulky
- Better sleep
- You can eat more (my favourite)
I will break each of these areas down for further blogs to discuss more but seriously, with all these benefits - why wouldn't you get yourself into a weight lifting program today. Make sure you get some professional advice to lift correctly and avoid injury though. Start light to get your technique correct and then build from there - you wont look back.
One of the other benefits of weight lifting is that it is a low impact exercise. What I mean by that is you don't have to jump around the room like the energiser bunny to get fit. This means that most people can lift weights. Even if you have existing injuries, there is usually a work around or something else you can do. Once again, please get professional advice on this though. Google is not always our friend :)
Let me know how you go :)