By Carmen Staicer - DietsInReview.com
When I first began to lose weight, my primary goal was a lower number on the scale. That was my sole focus. (Well, that and I REALLY wanted to wear a smaller pants size, if I'm being totally honest.) I never wanted to lift weights, never wanted to develop muscle - I just wanted to avoid embarrassment if the tag on my shirt was sticking out.
However, once I was successful with my weight loss I found I was still unhappy with my body's appearance. Reading online one day, I was struck by the idea of lifting weights, but I didn't want to bulk up. I gave it a try, though, and now I'm addicted. Lifting weights is terrific for women and the benefits are endless. Here are my top five reasons women should lift weights.
- Lifting weights makes you physically stronger. This has benefits that go beyond the obvious, such as carrying in the groceries or wrestling with a tight jar lid. This means that you will be less dependent upon others in your daily living. (It also makes it easier to wrestle with that recalcitrant toddler - but don't tell them that!)
- Lifting weights helps you lose body fat. The average woman who weight trains two to three times per week for two months will gain about two pounds of muscle while losing three to five pounds of fat. As lean muscle increases so does the resting metabolism, enabling you to burn more calories throughout the day.
- Lifting weights defines muscles. Women have less of the hormones that cause muscle bulk, so lifting will help you to define your muscles, not rip them. This also helps your clothes fit and look better.
- Lifting weights decreases risk of osteoporosis. Research has found that weight training can increase bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months. This, coupled with taking your daily calcium, means less bone fractures as you get older.
- Lifting weights improves your attitude and mood. Women who weight train feel more confident and capable, both of which are important factors in fighting depression.
Carmen Staicer is the Chief Mom at DietsInReview.com, sharing her insights on keeping yourself and your family eating and living as healthy as possible. She's a bit of a weight loss success story herself, having lost 80 pounds over the course of 18 months. Learn more from Carmen about how you can take those first steps toward a healthier diet and lifestyle at DietsInReview.com.