Please don’t misunderstand me. Regular engagement in cardiovascular based activities is a wonderful and much needed aspect of good physical fitness, however, it is only one piece of the puzzle. Elements such as flexibility, balance and resistance training are also needed to achieve and maintain optimal physical fitness. So why do many women choose not to lift weights? As a group exercise instructor, I have spoken with a number of different women from various backgrounds and the two main reasons those I spoke with would share for not lifting weights was that they didn’t want to look like a man; and that going into the weight training area was intimidating. I can empathize with both of these concerns. However, the probability of a woman morphing into a man due to weight training is slim to none. We as women naturally do not have the hormones necessary to take on a male physique. However, if a woman chooses to take steroids or select supplements, she can begin to have a physical transformation mimicking that of a man.
The second reason related to being “intimated” by the weight training area is also understandable. Yes there are primarily men in this area; however, in general, I have found most to be polite and helpful. Sure there are a few bad apples in the bunch and some stare 2 secs too long but in general I have found most weight lifting environments welcoming of women. Also, to state the obvious, as with most people in the gym, those in the weight lifting area are typically more concerned with looking at themselves than they are with other people. Don’t get me wrong, there are some mean, critical, rude and invasive people in the gym world, but I have personally found them to be the minority. So with that all being said, we can now bypass those two reasons for not lifting and focus on 7 reasons why we as women should lift.
7 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights
- Improved confidence and independence
- Improved strength and muscular fitness
- Increased lean body mass
- Decreased risk of osteoporosis
- Increased resting metabolic rate
- Improvement in medical labs such as cholesterol and blood pressure
- Prevention or management of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and lower back pain