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7 Benefits of Weight Lifting

Forget bulging biceps and thunderous thighs, we're talking weight loss, lean muscle mass and healthy bones - er, yes please!

woman rope lifting in gym

Words: Sallie Aylott of Muddy Cambs

Very few of us are striving to look like Arnie Schwarzenegger but it’s still a large misconception that women weight lifting will result in bulging biceps and thunderous thighs. I’d hardly call myself a gym bunny but when I do drag my big booty to the gym I hijack the cardio machines in a quest to keep fit and loose weight.

I’ve been hanging out with Peter Drinkwater from Realfit who is converting me from wearing the treadmill out to pumping iron a few times a week – apparently weight training can not only trim inches off your hips and waist, it can transform your entire body and health.  Peter has been in the fitness industry for over 14 years and is ranked in the top 100 personal trainers in the country by Origin training. As well as Realfit he also runs Lift Academy, mentoring and education for personal training and, as if this isn’t enough his, book is due to be published later this year.

So whether you’re a gym junky, into ‘freeform’ fitness or a morning sloth (hit the snooze button, I’ll get up when I’m good and ready), let’s limber up and get pumping.

7 REASONS WHY WOMEN OVER 30 SHOULD WEIGHT TRAIN BY PETER DRINKWATER

1. Avoid the middle aged spread

woman lifting dumbbells

Weight training can stave off many of the lifestyle related illnesses that begin to raise their head as we tick off the years, type 2 diabetes being one of the hot topics of the moment. The more muscle mass we have the less body fat we carry and the greater our metabolic rate is. A higher metabolism means that you will burn more calories all day long and weight training has been proven to raise the metabolism for up to 24 hours after a workout.

 

2. Decrease risk of Osteoporosis

kettlebells

Women’s oestrogen levels naturally begin to decrease around the age of 30. This critical hormone helps calcium production that’s needed for healthy bones. Weight training strengthens muscles and bones and helps in the fight against conditions like Osteoporosis. Weight training can increase spinal bone density to create a strong and healthy spine.

 

3, Reduce the risk of injury

woman lifting weights

Weight training increases bone density and makes us physically stronger. It reduces the risk of fractures and broken bones and if you’re unlucky enough to have a fall, you’ll recover much quicker.

 

4,  Eliminate Back Pain

woman lifting weights

How many of us suffer from back pain or some form of back injury? Weight training will strengthen your back, shoulders, and core helping to correct bad posture and prevent lower back pain.

 

5.  It’ll put us in a better mood

woman doing leg weight exercises

The benefits of exercise are splashed across most glossies you pick up. Lifting weights releases those blessed endorphins that boost energy and stimulate the mind – all of these help set us up for older age, keeping us mentally and physically stronger. If you’ve got a long bucket list that you’re nowhere near completing (that bungee jump is still sitting on mine winking at me!) then you need to keep yourself in tip top condition to take advantage of all that life has to offer. Age needn’t be a barrier to your enjoyment of life – if you keep yourself fit.

 

6.  The ‘bulking’ misconception

woman lifting weights on weight bench

One of the most common reasons women avoid weight training is because they’re afraid of “bulking.” This is a misconception – weight training gives women calorie burn, muscle definition and strength. Women don’t have as much testosterone to build muscle like men and have a much harder time gaining size from strength training.

 

7.  It makes life easier

woman walking on beach with girl on her shoulders

It sounds too simple but weight training enables you to function well in every day life. You can pick up children (who else spent an entire Little Mix concert with a child on their shoulders?), carry shopping, mow the grass, lift furniture, drag excess luggage on your long haul holidays and wear those killer Jimmy Choos. Not that I’m busting a gut to do all of these but the reality is – keep fit or employ an army of staff!

For more information on weight lifting and its benefits, or to find out more about Realfit, call Peter Drinkwater on 01480 219272. realfitcentre.co.uk

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