I’m sure you’ve guessed this by now, but I am a huge advocate for strength training. I started lifting regularly about three years ago and I quickly fell in love with it.
I wasn’t always comfortable in the gym, though. Back in my college days, I was way too afraid to venture into the free weight area at our campus gym. I didn’t know what I was doing, and since the weight section is traditionally filled with burly guys, I felt pretty intimidated.
There are so many reasons to start strength training, and I’ve listed my favorite ones below. Hopefully, they will inspire you to head over to the free weights and begin adding strength training to your workout schedule.
1. It can help reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
Unfortunately, women are at increased risk for osteoporosis, likely due to fluctuating estrogen levels and naturally lower bone density. Strength training is crucial for building and maintaining strong bones. Incorporating weightlifting into your routine, whether through simple body weight exercises or barbell training, can help prevent bone fractures and breakages as you age.
2. You’ll probably sleep better.
Who doesn’t love better sleep? Exercise of any kind can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. I find that I get the best nights’ sleep after a heavy lifting session, when my body is tired and working hard to rebuild the muscles I’ve broken down.
3. You’ll tone up your entire body.
If you work hard, stay consistent, and choose the right program, you’ll see amazing results all over your body. It’s a common misconception that female weightlifters will start to look manly as their training progresses. In my experience, strength training sculpts lean muscle, and no matter how heavy I lift, I’ve never seen too much “bulk.”
4. You’ll continue burning calories, even after the workout is complete.
While the benefits of cardio generally stop when the workout is finished, strength training continues to burn calories and build new muscle even while you’re sleeping. When I’m lifting regularly, my metabolism is on overdrive. I find that I can increase my calories and eat more freely than when I used to strictly stick to a cardio workout.
5. Strength can make everyday life easier.
I’m a mom, so I’m frequently bending down, running, crouching, and lifting to care for my daughter. I’m often carrying her (25lbs), plus groceries, plus my heavy purse.
Strength training has given me the ability to keep with the demands of my busy lifestyle. It feels great to be able to run, jump, and play with Daphne.
6. It’s a mental workout, too.
My mental strength and tenacity has improved greatly from weightlifting. I’ve seen firsthand the power of positive thinking and believing in yourself. When I’m about to push my limits and hit a new PR, I’m much more likely to succeed when I think positively and cheer myself on.
I’ve also noticed an improvement in my stress management abilities through lifting heavy. The rush of endorphins and mental focus has definitely helped me get through some tough days.
7. It’s just plain fun.
Last but not least, weightlifting is fun. It’s is a hobby I truly enjoy. There’s something so fulfilling about lifting heavy objects and putting them down. I love putting on my music, concentrating, and watching myself improve day to day.
I’ve heard that the best way to stick to any fitness regimen is to find something you truly love to do, and lifting fills that space for me. I can’t imagine my life without it now.
Do you strength train? Why or why not? Let’s start a discussion in the comments below! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow my blog on WordPress and find me on Instagram @haileighsenatore.