I know you hear it all the time that you should be lifting weights, but you’re really not sure how it will make a difference to you. Starting can be daunting but it is well worth it, especially in the long term!
Here are some of what I consider the top reasons why you should lift weights, particularly as a fabulous woman over 40.
1 Reduce risk of certain illnesses / diseases Strength training has been demonstrated to be important in improving certain health markers including reducing blood pressure and weight which are all significant in reducing the risk of women suffering from illnesses and diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases ( i.e. heart attack, stroke ), diabetes and osteoporosis. Preventing these conditions by adding even just one day of strength training to your usual weekly routine is a better option than trying to improve your health after it’s too late.
2 Increase muscle mass As we get older we tend to become a little less active as our lives become busier. Add to this a natural decline in muscle mass and losing weight, maintaining your weight or even getting through your daily activities can become a little harder. Keeping up your usual routine ( and keeping up with the kids busy schedules ) can be a little easier with regular strength training.
3 Minimise weight gain Are you finding that losing weight is not as easy as it was in your 20s or 30s? Enter strength training. As you build more lean muscle you’re ability to burn more calories, even at rest, is increased! More lean muscle, more calorie burn means more ability to fight against age related weight gain.
4 Increased energy Although it doesn’t always feel like it after your workout, regular strength training can help increase your energy and improve your mood. You might feel exhausted during or after your workout, but after a couple of hours wait for that spring in your step that will keep you going later in the day and allow you to keep going through your hectic week.
5 Better sleep I hear many of my clients starting to complain as they get a little older about not being able to sleep through the night. Strength training is beneficial in helping you be able to get to sleep as well as stay asleep through the night. The feeling of being physically tired as well as mentally tired is a great combination for getting to sleep quickly! With sleep being such an important factor in losing weight and staying healthy, who wouldn’t want to do everything they could to get some quality shut eye?
6 Improved self confidence If I’m being honest, there aren’t too many people that aren’t working out to look better, me included. Do you want to be a little leaner, look a little more “toned”? My number 1 tip .. lift more weights, heavy weights, not just light weights and lots of reps, heavy weights that challenge you. Don’t worry, you won’t get “bulky”, it’s not that easy for women! Knowing that you are doing something that makes you look good and feels good = more self confidence! Which leads me to the next reason …
7 How it makes you feel Anyone who has done regular strength training for any period of time, even just a few weeks will always know what I mean when I say it makes you feel stronger. Being able to do more push ups than you have ever done, being able to bench press, deadlift or squat more than you could last week, last month or even last year is an amazing feeling of strength and empowerment. Knowing you can carry the groceries without working up a sweat … seeing your new biceps and triceps appear. Don’t tell me you haven’t struck a pose in front of the mirror just to check their progress!
8 Look younger Yes, strength training and exercise in general can help make you look younger and feel younger. I love a delicious smelling potion to lather on my skin, but exercise will have a different effect. Healthy circulation and blood flow will help to carry oxygen and nutrients to your skin keeping it healthy and vibrant. Lean toned muscles, which may not directly affect the skin on your face will absolutely help you look better overall!
Do you include strength training into your weekly exercise regime? What is it that is holding you back right now with your health & fitness?
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