Fitness Myth 3 : ‘ I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to look like a man ‘
While we are ‘modern’ enough to wear jeans and shirts, serve in the army, fly planes and do everything men do, we remain apprehensive about and shy away from lifting weights due to the fear of bulking up and looking like men. Just as a woman wearing jeans and shirts does not look like a man, the hormones present in a woman will ensure she does not look like a man (even if she lifts weights).
Weight training/Strength training/Resistance training is an important part of fitness and is essential to get a fit body. Let us analyse what are the benefits of weight training and why women shy away.
Weight training burns fat and tones you up
It burns fat faster and more effectively than any other workout. Unlike cardio and other workouts which stop working the moment you stop your work-out, weight training keeps the metabolism high for the next 48 hours.
It improves the lower back and core muscle strength which is a must for losing that pregnancy tummy , that most moms want to lose. Be it an hour-glass figure, flat stomach, toned arms, well-rounded butt or a lean and fit body you are looking for, strength training is a must.
So next time , keep this in mind before googling foods that increase your metabolism.
Weight training strengthens muscle, bones and heart
The picture of muscle most women have in their mind is that of a male body builder (or sometimes a female body builder). For the amount of testosterone produced by women it is impossible to achieve such a body by just lifting weights.
Stronger muscles build stronger bones. Based on extended research, the National Osteoporosis Foundation has recommended weight-bearing and resistance training to improve bone density. It increases the effectiveness of Vitamin D and Calcium supplements.
American Heart Association recommends weight training at least twice a week to improve heart health, since heart is also an organ made of muscles.
Weight training improves your hormones
Weight Training improves insulin sensitivity, which is a major trigger factor for diabetes , most hormonal imbalances like thyroid, PCOS, and other reproductive issues. Regular strength training will ease the stage of menopause too, since bone density and hormonal balance will be enhanced.
Weight training improves confidence and mood
Studies have proven that weight training helps not only in improving strength and fitness, but also in improving confidence and reducing depression. The endorphins released while you lift weights help reduce stress ensuring you feel better. Every time you recover from a sore muscle, it improves not just your physical strength, but also your mental strength.
But, I want to run only marathons
Strengthening and conditioning your muscle and body is important for an injury free run whether it is a fun run, half or full marathon.
It will improve posture, form and timing. With the increased strength that comes with weight training, even the practice runs become more enjoyable.
Ditch the treadmill
In most cases, the first thing that becomes useless within the first few weeks is the treadmill (except for the occasional use as a place to dump or dry clothes).
Running on a treadmill increases the risk of knee, back and hip injuries especially if the muscles aren’t strong enough to bear the weight.
If you can work out only at home, purchasing a pair of dumbbell is cheaper than buying a treadmill (even if it is a used one) and occupies far less space. If you thought walking is the best and safest exercise, read why it is not here.
Even though it was not in the gym, our grand-mothers lifted weights. Fetching water from well and carrying it to the house, grinding in mortal pestle & stone, washing clothes, gardening, squatting in the potty and more. No wonder they had thin waists and flat stomach in spite of multiple pregnancies.
If you are a newbie to work out or strength training, some of the workouts that you can start with are squats, walking lunges, push ups, planks and leg raises. Watch out for a video on the same in this space.
Are you going to weight watch or weight train?
If you liked this post , share it with your friends too.