The benefits of weightlifting for women are now starting to be realised. What was once traditionally thought of as a male activity, lifting weights is becoming more and more popular among women. Resistance training can take many forms and doesn’t have to cost you the earth. Whether you choose to go to the gym and use the weight machines, train at home with dumbbells, or use your own body weight, you will be making a positive difference to your overall health. But what are these benefits? And why is it important that women introduce weight training into their fitness regime?
Makes you lean
Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights will not bulk you up. If anything, it actually has the opposite effect, at least as far as women are concerned. Unlike men, who have more testosterone in their bodies, women lack the biological mechanisms to build big, bulky muscle. Instead, you’ll develop lean muscle, which will make you look more toned. But you also need to feed your body with the right nutrients to reap the full benefits. Protein is particularly important and will help your body recover after a workout and build lean muscle. However, it can be hard to get enough of protein from food alone. Nestle BOOST Optimum contains plenty of nutrients, as well as high-quality protein, and is the ideal accompaniment to your training program.
Speeds up your metabolism
Did you know that lifting weights can increase your metabolism and therefore your ability to burn more fat? When you exercise, your body takes in more oxygen, resulting in more caloric expenditure and therefore a higher metabolic rate. But that’s not all! Muscle uses up more energy while at rest, which means the more lean muscle you have, the more energy your body will need. This means that simply by having more lean muscle in your body, you’ll be burning more calories, even for hours after your workout.
Reduces cardiovascular disease and diabetes
Any physical activity that gets your blood pumping and your heart rate up is bound to be good for your cardiovascular health. Lifting weights also helps to reduce your bad cholesterol and increases the good kind. This will go towards lowering your blood pressure, which in turn reduces your chances of heart attacks and strokes. Weightlifting, as with most forms of exercise, can also help your body to process sugars, potentially lowering your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Reduces age-related deterioration
Like most body tissue, bone is always being broken down and replaced. However, when the creation of new bone tissue doesn’t keep up with the rate of deterioration – which tends to happen as you age – osteoporosis develops. Osteoporosis weakens the structure of your bones and leaves you vulnerable to breakages and fractures. Unfortunately, women tend to lose bone density more rapidly and so are far more likely to develop osteoporosis as they age, particularly after the menopause. Research shows that resistance training can help to build new, strong bones; therefore a good way to reduce your risk of osteoporosis is by lifting weights.
Women who lift weights will enjoy a range of physical benefits. Not only will it speed up their metabolism and make them lean, it’ll reduce the likelihood of the diseases and deterioration that come with age.