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Weighty Solution
March 05, 2013 COMMENT comment
     
Weighty Solution
Sonia Bajaj, nutrition and fitness coach
 
Lifting weights benefits women as much as men, says fitness and nutrition coach Sonia Bajaj. She gives you 15 reasons why you should be lifting weights. Investing in dumbbells could help you land a raise. On days you weight train, you can accomplish in eight hours what normally would take nine.
 
Weight training is one area that used to be labelled ‘Men Only’. There are several debates on whether weight training is important and beneficial for women at all. However, it has been proved that weight training, also known as Strength Training, benefits women greatly too. In fact, weight lifting can be as important to your overall health as aerobic exercise and it is certainly not just for men. Lifting weights can help women build a toned, sculpted, feminine body, and also build stronger bones. What’s more, it can also help you boost your metabolism, making you not only look great but feel great too.

Men already have the advantage of producing large amount of testosterone, a hormone that allows them to have strong muscles and keep their body fat low. Women, on the other hand, have more trapped fat between their muscle fibres than
men. Physiologically then, nature intended women to be a little more rounded, a little softer and a little smaller than men.
 
And this is where weight training can help women. Lifting weights helps you fight belly fat, stress, heart diseases, diabetes and even cancer. Lifting even makes women smarter and happier. Here are 15 reasons why you should not live another day without lifting weights:
 
1. You will lose 40 per cent more fat if you weight train as you diet for weight loss.
 
2. You will burn more calories: Lifting weights increases the number of calories you burn even while sitting on the couch. Researchers have calculated that performing one circuit of eight strength exercises, which takes only eight minutes, can expend 159 to 231 calories. That is about the same number burned by running at a six-minute mile pace for the same duration.
 
3. Your clothes will fit better: If you don’t lift weights you can say goodbye to toned arms. Between the ages of 30 to 50, you are likely to lose 10 per cent of total muscle on your body, worse yet; it’s likely that lost muscle is replaced by fat over time.
 
4. You will keep your body young: Ever noticed how the elderly often have trouble standing up? Blame muscles that are underused and wasting away. The secret to turning back the clock? Pumping iron.
 
5. You will build stronger bones: You lose bone mass as you age, which increases the likelihood that you will one day suffer a debilitating fracture in your hip or vertebrae. Research shows that 16 weeks of weight training increases hip bone density by as much as 19 per cent.
 
6. You will derail diabetes and cut your cancer risk: Lifting weights may be one of the best ways to prevent diabetes because it improves your sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Scientists have discovered that resistance training speeds the rate at which food is moved through the large intestine by up to 56 percent, an effect that reduces the chances of colon cancer.
 
7. Lifting weights provides a double dose of weight loss fuel. On top of burning calories, strength training helps your brain to stick to a diet.
 
8. You will sleep better: Lifting hard helps you rest easier.
 
9. You will handle stress better: Break a sweat in the weight room and you will stay cool under pressure. Women who weight train exhibit lower levels of stress hormones.
 
10. You will fight depression: Science shows that women who weight lift regularly have lesser chances of major depression. Lifting weights acts as anti-depressants but without side effects.
 
11. You will be more productive: Invest in dumbbells; it could help you land a raise. On the days you weight train, you can accomplish in an eight-hour day what normally would take you nine hours.
 
12. Add years to your life: Get strong to live long. Researches show that total body strength was linked to lower the risks of death from cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other causes.
 
13. Stay sharp: Never forget to pump iron. Women who do weight training thrice a week significantly reduce their blood levels of homocysteine, a protein that’s linked to the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
 
14. You will be happier: Yoga isn’t the only exercise that’s soothing. People who perform weight-training workouts show improved scores on measures of anger and overall mood.
 
15. Be smarter women: Talk about a mindmuscle connection, weight training results in better short- and long-term memory, improved verbal reasoning and a longer attention span.
 
Those are probably enough reasons to add strength training in your workout regime and there will be no reason that you cannot get as strong as you possibly can, that too within your genetic potential.

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