Movement. One word. A word that has a massive impact on people’s lives, whether they realise it or not. Pursuing a healthy lifestyle entails many different factors, including consuming nutritious meals on the daily or making sure you’re getting between 7 and 8 hours worth of sleep. Exercise is one of these contributing factors to a health-conscious lifestyle. A majority of people don’t realise the impact just a certain amount of movement a day the advantages of lifting heavy can have on your life. Exercising daily has been shown to “improve your mood and mental functioning, keep your bones strong and joints healthy and help you maintain a healthy weight” Harvard Health (March, 2021).
Weight training has become an extremely popular form of exercise in the recent years, in fact, an increase in the number of women weight training has been a noticeable trend. This could be due to social media fitness accounts and their normalization of women working out in the weights section. Social media has helped contradict common misconceptions in the fitness industry for women, one of the biggest ones being that females who weight train will become “bulky” like men. This is of course not true at all!
Multiple studies have suggested the numerous benefits women obtain from weight training. Below I will discuss some advantages of lifting heavy. What are you waiting for? Check them out!
1. Maintain and increase muscle mass
Studies have found that consistent weight lifting helps to maintain and increase muscle mass. Maintaining and increasing muscle mass has a number of different advantages, such as preventing injury, improving body composition and improving daily functions; carrying shopping bags or walking up the stairs. This is one of the many advantages of lifting heavy!
2. Improve bone density
An article by Harvard discusses the benefits of weight training for bone density. Osteoporosis is a condition which makes your bones fragile and brittle often leading to serious injury. Consistent weight training can help manage and reduce pain caused by this condition by managing common risk factors; muscle mass, strength and balance. Strength training also contributes to an improvement in joint flexibility.
3. Improve mental health
Studies suggest consistent weight training increases confidence and self esteem. Engaging in regular strength training exercises can significantly reduce stress and anxiety symptoms. The physical effort in strength training triggers the release of a hormone called endorphins, the body´s natural mood enhancers. This contributes to a sense of wellbeing and overall positivity. Weight lifting can also improve sleep quality, enhancing cognitive function during wake hours.
4. Increase confidence
Strength training offers a number of benefits beyond physician gains, positively impacting confidence and self assurance. Individuals who engage in consistent weight training witness improvements in their strength and physical abilities leading to a sense of empowerment and accomplishment. Individuals who notice their bodies change throughout their fitness journey often notice an improvement in their body confidence. A study gathered a group of college women who weight trained and a group of women who did not. The study found that the women who took part in strength training found an increase in overall body confidence compared to the group who did not weight train.
5. Support weight loss
Consistent weight training encourages lean muscle mass growth. This growth is metabolically active and requires more energy to maintain. As a result, their resting metabolic rate increases, meaning they burn more calories even when at rest. Furthermore, weight training helps preserve existing muscle mass while losing weight, which is essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism and preventing muscle loss during calorie deficits. People who weight train during a calorie deficit often notice positive changes in their body composition.
6. Hormone balance
Weight training benefits hormone balancing in women by promoting testosterone production for muscle growth and vitality. Because during strength training, muscles are slightly harmed and require mending in order to grow back stronger, to heal the injured tissues, your body immediately produces testosterone, human growth hormone, and IGF-1. Weight training also enhances insulin sensitivity, aiding blood sugar control despite hormonal fluctuations. The release of endorphins through weight training helps stabilize moods during hormonal changes.
7. Improve sleeping patterns
Weight training offers valuable benefits for improving sleeping patterns. Engaging in regular weight training workouts can help regulate sleep by promoting the release of endorphins, reducing stress, and enhancing overall mood. These positive effects can contribute to a sense of relaxation and mental well-being, making it easier to fall asleep and achieve deeper, more restorative sleep. Studies have found that daily exercise helps to increase sleep duration and efficiency.
8. Increase energy levels
Weight training offers a potent energy boost by enhancing circulation, releasing endorphins, and increasing metabolic rate. It improves insulin sensitivity, supports mitochondrial function, and reduces fatigue, leading to sustained vitality. Better sleep, stress reduction, and hormonal balance further contribute to elevated energy levels. As muscle endurance and stamina improve, everyday activities become less taxing.
9. Pregnancy and postpartum benefits
Exercising during pregnancy and postpartum can offer numerous benefits, including improved strength, healthy weight gain, better posture, enhanced mood, and increased energy levels. It aids in labor preparation, supports postpartum recovery, and fosters body confidence. By targeting core muscles, promoting bone health, and engaging the pelvic floor, exercising contributes to overall well-being and stability. Make sure you consult beforehand with a healthcare and a qualified fitness professional to ensure safe and effective workouts tailored to your needs.
10. Improve posture
Weight training is highly effective for enhancing women’s posture. By strengthening core muscles, promoting muscle balance, and engaging key muscle groups like the back, shoulders, and spine, weight training contributes to proper alignment and reduces the risk of slouching and discomfort. It fosters body awareness, alleviates pain, and boosts confidence. These benefits not only improve daily movement but also prevent long-term postural issues. Working with a fitness professional ensures safe and targeted exercises for optimal posture enhancement.