Weight Training Beneficial to Women
Looking around the UCSB recreation center, one may notice a common divide between the genders. The majority of women, though not all of course, tend to congregate towards the cardio machines and yoga classes leaving the males to dominate the reccen-at-sunsetweight-lifting floor. Weight lifting is extremely beneficial to both sexes. Many women, apparently, seem to be missing this memo. Leaving one to wonder, why do surpluses of women shy away from pumping the iron?
After numerous discussions with college-aged women, several answers arose. Many young women admit to being self-conscious about lifting weights in the presence of males. They are concerned that the men will laugh or even judge their lifting technique. Another woman expressed that she feared lifting weights would make her look too “buff” and unappealing. The fear of judgment and a misconstrued perception of weight lifting seem to be the top reasons for an absence of regular female weight lifters.
However, there are many reasons why woman should avidly partake in weight training. A few reasons are as follows:
- Research shows that women who lift weights are less likely to develop osteoporosis. “Post-menopausal women who participated in a strength training program for a year saw significant increases in bone density in their spine and hips, weight-lifting-for-womenareas affected most often by women with osteoporosis” (WebMD 2012). Sticking to a regular strength-training plan while a woman is young keeps her bones healthy and strong in old age, decreasing the chances of developing osteoporosis.
- Women who lift weights may also reduce their risk of developing heart disease and arthritis. Weight training reduces LDL cholesterol (bad) and increases HDL cholesterol (good), therefore reducing one’s blood pressure and chances of heart disease. Lifting weights increases the strength of connective muscle tissues which in turn strengthens the joints. Strong joints are beneficial in preventing arthritis.
- Weight-training will not make a woman “bulk” up like a man, but more toned and lean. Women commonly hold the misperception that weight lifting leads to looking like Hulk Hogan. No worries ladies, a WWF wrestling title will not be in your future. Unlike men, women have little testosterone in their body, and it is this testosterone that contributes to the development of “bulky” muscles. Lifting weights only makes women appear toned, lean, and healthy. Things that cardio alone cannot do.
- Lifting weights is correlated with a better body image and reduces depression. It is no secret that women cherish their appearance and desire to look and feel their best. Weight-training not only makes a woman appear fit and healthy but enables her to develop a positive body-image. With every weight lifted, a woman will develop more self-esteem which will carry over in to her everyday life.
These are just a few of the benefits a woman can gain from regular weight-training. Ironically, after talking to numerous men, many males admitted that a woman who can work her way through a weight room is a major turn-on. So grab those dumb bells and work on those bench presses, ladies! A healthier and happier woman is only a few reps away.