Fit & Happy: Ladies, Lift!
By: MEREDITH NIXON, June 5, 2014
Maybe you've thought about lifting weights but for one reason or another, you have never incorporated strength training into your health and fitness plan. Often times, many women don’t even know where to begin, or are terrified by the horrible “gym myths” we’ve all undoubtedly heard: lifting heavy weights makes women bulky; it's bad for your joints; and once you have muscle, you can't stop lifting or it will all turn to fat. The fact is, lifting weights will help you to live in a healthier, stronger body. When we look at any fitness/health goal, strength training will not only help you reach them, but may reach them faster than dieting and cardio exercise alone. It’s time to squash the fears, and bust those “gym myths” that are keeping too many women from experiencing the amazing benefits of strength training. Here are a few reasons you should prioritize strength training in your fitness plan!
More Effective Fat Loss
Although many people consider weightlifting only a means to add size, when comparing lifting weights versus cardio exercise, strength training comes out on top as the bigger calorie buster! The huge advantage to weight training is your body's ability to burn fat during and after exercise. After a heavy bought of strength training, your body uses more oxygen, which burns more calories and increases your metabolic rate.
More Muscle, More Calorie Expenditure
Lean muscle burns fat! As you increase strength and lean muscle mass, your body uses calories more efficiently. The more muscle contractions you experience during a day, the more calories you'll burn. If you have more lean muscle mass, you'll have more muscle contractions and thus burn more calories.
Strength training greatly improves sleep quality, aiding in your ability to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake less often during the night.
With better sleep comes more energy. Plus, because your body continues to work and burn after you lift weights, you experience an increase in energy expenditure hours after you train.
As you age, you are at risk of losing both bone and muscle mass. Resistance training is an excellent way to combat loss of bone mass, and it decreases the risk of osteoporosis. The earlier you begin weightlifting, the greater chance you have to maintain bone health later in life.
Exercise in general is a great way to manage stress. Studies have consistently found that those who regularly strength-train, tend to manage stress better.
Whether we’re trying to keep up with the kids, working a stressful job or balancing both, all of us want to feel strong, determined, and confident in everything we do. Strength training can benefit in all aspects of your life and help you reach any health/fitness goal. Start pumping iron today and feel stronger, healthier and more confident, feel Fit & Happy!
This column sponsored by:
Meredith Nixon is a fitness enthusiast with a passion for motivating and inspiring others.
She uses her personal experiences from achieving her own weight loss goals to understand her clients and motivate them to love themselves and to be happy, healthy and fit. She teaches people how to live a healthy lifestyle and keep weight off forever with life changing results both inside and out.
Since 2007 Meredith has been the sole proprietor of her own health clubs. The Fitness Company for Women in Mashpee, The Fitness Company (coed) in East Falmouth , and most recently, FitCo Weight loss & Wellness Center of Cape Cod.