Weight lifting can be a woman's best friend. While men have long enjoyed the benefits of strength training, women have tended to shy away from the activity, fearing the body builder look. Fear no more, ladies. Incorporating weight lifting into your workout routine provides important benefits necessary to a woman's overall health.
Once you've consulted your doctor and received the okay to participate in an exercise program, you will find that weight lifting will help you achieve your fitness goals and shape your body in a way that cardio alone never could. Participating in countless hours of sweat and calorie deprivation isn't going to transform your physique. It requires an effective strength training regimen to tighten and tone.
When most people think of weight lifting, we often picture larger than life muscles and impossibly heavy barbells. But weight lifting does not necessarily translate into large muscles. The beauty of strength training is that it can be tailored to an individual's goals.
While some women may desire and seek to build large muscles, strength training is versatile and can fit into just about anyone's fitness routine. Furthermore, most women are genetically incapable of developing extremely large muscles because of insufficient hormones. You can safely let go of the fear you may have of developing an Arnold Schwarzenegger type physique. What you will develop are stronger, longer, lean muscles that will aid you in battling some of the biggest health threats to women, including heart disease and osteoporosis.
While cardio activity and a sensible diet are crucial to fitness and heart health, they cannot provide the tone and definition that you get from a good strength training regimen. And if it's fat burning that you desire, strength training is a must. As the size of your muscle fibers increase, so does the amount of energy that your body burns.
Weight lifting even increases your resting metabolic rate, making it even easier to burn off the fat. This is a very attractive benefit, as a woman's metabolism slows down with age. This increased metabolic rate acts as a fighter against fat and the greatest killer of women - heart disease.
Weight lifting offers you far more benefits than just toning the muscles and increasing the metabolism. While these reasons are enough to start a strength training routine, there are even more byproducts to consider. One of those benefits is the increased bone density that you get from strength training, thereby reducing your risk of osteoporosis and improving posture. Besides your bones and muscles, weight lifting also strengthens your ligaments and tendons, thus giving your joints a better support system and reducing your risk of injury.
Besides the health benefits that weight lifting provides women, it's important to mention the versatility and convenience of strength training. Whether you choose to use free weights, adjustable weight-stacking machines, or hydraulic machines, you can find a gym or a class that caters to your preference. Many women enjoy incorporating resistance bands into their cardio or Pilates routines. You can even use your own body resistance in an effective strength training routine.
With so many options and workouts that can be completed in as little as 20 minutes, it's time to stop making excuses and start your training program.