I know what you’re thinking… “Weight lifting is only for men!” Right?
No, it’s not.
Lifting weights is especially awesome for women — to help us look good, feel good, and do good for our families and husbands.
In this podcast — notes are below as well — I’m sharing 10 reasons why I think real women (like you and me) should lift weights.
I have been lifting weights for going on 3 years now. Not always well, mind you. But always loving the benefits and feeling so happy about what it’s doing for me and my world…
Check out the 10 reasons below — in podcast, video, or print form. Be sure to stick with me to the end, where I have practical suggestions for how you can get started and make it work for you, too!
And please leave a comment letting me know what you think and when you’re going to join me as a real woman who lifts!
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Video From Periscope
I recorded this podcast live on Periscope last week, and here’s the video from that! It’s just like the audio file above, except you can see it, too. 🙂
10 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights
I exercise because it’s important to me to take care of my body. This affects how I feel and how I look. How I serve my family, how attractive I am to my husband.
When I was a teenager, I bought into society’s vision for what was right for females. That they be stick thin basically. Waifs.
What a breath of fresh air to meet my husband and learn that was NOT was he desired. Although it took me many years to accept it and believe it for myself. Thankfully, I am there now.
Exercise is a big part of not only loving who are you (feeling like you’re making progress)… but it’s essential to being strong to serve your family and friends and as a gift for your husband. When you take care of yourself, you’re taking care of him. I think you all know what I mean. 😉
Exercise (if you can do it… some can’t and I’m not addressing that)… is as important as eating well for one’s overall well-being.
When I was a teenager and early 20s, I was obsessed with aerobic exercise. I walked or ran for miles. If I felt that I ate too much or gained a pound, I would hit the roads and walk it off. It was not healthy.
Not to mention that it took a lot of time!
Then I got busy with life, kids, business, and I didn’t have hours and hours to spend walking or running…
So I didn’t do anything for years. And my health and appearance took a dive. Those were my frumpy years.
Then I found T-Tapp, which is amazing actually. Targeted body-shaping and toning exercises that can be done in 4 square feet without any equipment in as little as 15 minutes a day… (sample videos here).
I lost pounds and inches and toned up considerably doing T-Tapp! If you go to the website, you’ll see lots of success stories and sample videos.
But I’m not doing T-Tapp anymore… I’m lifting weights instead. Why?
That’s the point of today’s podcast…
1. I can share it with my husband.
He is into lifting weights and knows so much about exercise. I could do my own thing or I could choose to exercise in something that we share. It’s multi-purpose if we do this together — exercise and build our relationship by sharing a common activity.
We don’t exercise together (aka at the time same) because I like to exercise early in the morning before any one is up and he exercises middle of the day.
But we talk about it all the time. I consult with him. He consults with me — which is really telling me what he’s reading and what he’s thinking of trying and what he thinks I should try. Not because I have much to offer; I don’t!
Lifting weights “with” my husband has been a relationship builder for us! Plus it’s had good effects on my physique…. which brings me to:
2. I like the results.
I told you when I was young I wanted to be a waif. My husband told me when we first married and for years afterward that real men don’t really want that. It’s not attractive to them. They want a wife with substance. (Of course there are exceptions and I’m not saying a man who wants a waif is not a man; he might be!)
Now I have not consulted with other men, but I’ve seen enough on the internet and here and there to be able to say — I think he’s pretty much right.
Curves and strength and shape are more attractive than being super stick thin. (I know there are women who are naturally “straight” and thin — I am even one of the naturally straight! This is not a put down for naturally “straight” figures but rather an encouragement not to seek out being super thin. Got me?)
And those curves and shape? You (me) don’t have to be perfect, because a woman who is working on her health, who is confident, who loves her family deeply, who is giving 100%, and who is happy that she’s moving forward — that completes the picture. The “trying” stuff is so much more important than the look, and the simple act of working on it helps all the rest happen. So don’t misunderstand me on this and think that I’m all about appearances; I’m not!
So… yes, I like the results from weight lifting… I’m enjoying the ride, I’m enjoying getting stronger, and I’m enjoying being attractive to my husband.
3. I want to show my daughters and other girls the opposite example to what the media shows.
I would rather my daughters and other girls see a living example of happy, healthy, confident, and woman-sized attraction.
I used to long to be like the magazine models… Now when I look in a magazine, even a Land’s End catalog, what I see… yes, beautiful women, there’s no doubt about that, but they are too perfect, too thin.
I used to think THEY were the ideal woman but now… I don’t think that. What’s ideal is to be the best version of how God made you. That takes work — and no one is expecting perfection, either.
I don’t want my daughters to aspire after what I used to chase. When I think of all the years and fun I wasted chasing after it…
Anyway, the Lord’s mercies are new each morning and I have learned my lesson. I want to pass on that lesson to my daughters and other young women.
Don’t try to be like a magazine model.
Be a real woman who is who God made her to be — whether strong, sexy, curvy, bigger, or even naturally thin — and most importantly, healthy and happy!
Which brings me to particular benefits of weight lifting for women:
4. Weight lifting speeds up your metabolism.
Weight lifting builds muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories and fat you’re burning all the time — even while resting. In other words, your muscles are using up the excess fuel you’ve eaten or the stored fat on your body.
All that good food we’re cooking? As we age or decline in health, we may pack on the pounds. So this is a win-win. 🙂
Weight lifting is also a good match with Trim Healthy Mama. That’s how I lost more than 30 pounds in 2014 and weight lifting (as well as 80% THM) is how I’m maintaining my weight loss. More on THM in KYF #147 and KYF #113.
5. Weight lifting increases bone density.
Aging and loss of bone density go hand in hand. Weight lifting increases bone density — making it an especially wonderful way to exercise especially as we age.
6. Weight lifting is efficient.
Remember I told you I used to work out by walking or running miles? This took an hour or more each day.
A carefree teenager? No problem.
A busy mom? I’m hard pressed to fit that in!
Now, my workouts are about 30 to 45 minutes 3 to 4 days per week.
Much easier to fit in! Much easier to get my head around giving up that time. (Because for me, the biggest battle I have about most things is “I don’t have time for that.”)
7. Weight lifting will add curves, not bulk you up.
As women, we don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up like a man would. It’s the same exercise, yes, but on a woman it makes us curvy and shapely.
In fact, it’s even more adaptable than that to what we desire deep inside… because weight lifting is good for curves and muscles no matter your shape!
What I mean is: Weight lifting will give a fluffier woman more tone and shape and help her get thinner. On the other hand, lifting weights will help a thin woman develop more shape and muscle.
8. Weight lifting makes you strong.
I have to lug heavy things around from time to time. I have gotten stronger through lifting. It’s cool to experience that residual benefit!
I haven’t run for years and in fact, I’d be hard pressed to run these days. Even walking on our hills the last 10 years has been harder than it ever was (I used to walk miles!).
Yet the other day, I got this urge to run and I did. I don’t plan to indulge it (well, maybe someday)… it was just cool to have the residual strength benefit and the urge and ability to do it.
9. Weight lifting helps you sleep.
Work hard, sleep hard. It’s a simple equation. You’ll be more tired and sleep deeper, longer, and better if you work your body hard.
10. Weight lifting boosts your energy.
You’ll get an energy boost that last for hours after you workout.
Maybe at first you’ll not feel that great. Sometimes when I’m weaker or not feeling well, or if I increase my weight, I will get nauseous during the workout, but most of the time I get a burst that makes me feel great the whole rest of the day.
(That’s one reason why I love to workout first thing in the morning… it’s a great way to start the day mentally and physically.)
Let This Encourage You #1 — I’m Not Very Good At This!
I’m actually not very good at weight lifting.
I’m not disciplined enough.
I don’t push myself hard enough.
I don’t “get” it. I’m that awkward person who should never try out for cheerleading (which I did in high school…. don’t ask me why, it was momentary insanity and SO embarrassing).
I could do so much better.
Yet, even what I do do is having a positive affect on my life, moods, health, strength, and look.
So let me be an encouragement to you. That if someone like me, who is not very good or gifted or disciplined, can get so much benefit out of this, you are sure to!
Let This Encourage You #2 — We’re Just Making It Work!
Remember I said this was a passion and pursuit of my husband’s? So we have a rack and a bar and weight plates in our house. My office at home is in the family room and most of that room is actually the weights. So yeah… we make it work, right? It’s not ideal… but it works.
We have 4 at home and all of us work out with this equipment. We have to work around each other, we all get advice from my husband (he’s so giving to us!), and we do the best we can with what we’ve got.
How Can You Get Started?
Now I want to finish this podcast by giving you some ideas for how you can make it work in your life and how you can do the best you can (because perfection is NOT an option, thankfully!):
1. If you have a husband or son who lifts, ask them to take you with them out to the garage for a session or two to see if you like it and see what they would recommend. Perhaps they’ll start you with squats or deadlifts or a modification.
I’m not guaranteeing they will want to, but I think most kind and decent men would be thrilled to give advice to a woman or girl on something they love to do themselves. And if they have a problem with it, well, that’s their problem — don’t take that burden on yourself and feel stupid or anything. You don’t need to. Find someone else to help you…
2. If you have a friend or neighbor who lifts, you can do the same thing. Ask if you can trade sessions or training for some homemade bread, butter, cheese, or a home cooked meal. You never know what could come of a mutually beneficial trade arrangement!
3. If you know of no one nearby who can share or help you, you could look into acquiring some kettle bells, dumbbells, or other weights to start pursuing it yourself at home. Seeking out some DVDs or online instruction. See what resonates with you and give it a go!
4. There’s always the gym. And gyms have trainers. If you have the money to afford this, it can be wonderful accountability. You may have a trainer holding you to a schedule. Definitely look into this if it seems like the right way for you to go.
Don’t be shy. Everyone starts out somewhere. The key is starting… and asking for help. Thankfully, we are women and we tend toward being comfortable with asking for help. Go for it!
- Free Traditional Cooking Video Series (5 Videos)
- T-Tapp (not weight lifting but a great fitness routine to start with!)
- KYF #147: If I Were Starting Trim Healthy Mama With Traditional Foods Over Again…
- KYF #113: How I Lost More Than 30 Pounds In 1 Year
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