I’ve mentioned, lots of times, that I find the gym to be a really great release for me, and it really helps keep me sane! Being a home ed parent is hard work. It’s intense and full on and there are some day (and weeks!) when it can feel relentless. I find the gym a great way to release pent up frustrations and energy, plus it clears my mind and I always come back feeling brighter.
I wanted to write something about why I lift weights, and the benefits of it and when DW Fitness offered to write a post for me I took them up on the offer because they can write it with their wealth of knowledge! Please note that I have not recieved payment for hosting this piece.
I wanted to share this because I know from speaking to some girls at the gym or Instagram there are lots of misconceptions out there. I am planning to run my first half marathon this year and weight training has definitely helped improve my running.
This is a (non-paid) guest post by DW Fitness First
Whether it’s down to a lack of knowledge or a bit of ‘gymtimidation’, a lot of women stick to cardio and bodyweight exercises when hitting the gym, thinking the weights area is exclusively for bulking up.
But, according to DW Fitness First, this is a huge misconception. Weightlifting is brilliant for a number of different things, from getting better at running to losing weight. There are a number of amazing health benefits that come with choosing dumbbells over the treadmill — and some of them may surprise you.
To help show you the value of weightlifting, DWFF has debunked the myths and created a list of what women can gain by adding weights to their workout.
“Lifting weights will make you bulky!” is a phrase most women have heard in the gym at some point.
But that’s not strictly the case. Although it is possible for women to achieve bodybuilder-like physiques, this takes an enormous amount of time and dedication. Women’s bodies only produce 5-10% of the testosterone that men do, so it’s much more difficult to bulk up.
The good news is that lifting heavy weights will help your muscles become super-lean and defined, so you’ll become stronger and more toned without dramatically increasing in size.
If there’s one universal truth to strength training, it’s that stronger muscles mean better performance.
Adding weightlifting to your workouts is a brilliant way to improve your running and swimming game, as stronger core muscles will help to better support your body’s weight. Plus, once you’ve built up strength in your arms and legs, they’ll become more powerful to give you the boost you need to smash your personal best!
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way: lifting weights makes you stronger.
Even exercising with light weights will help to build your muscular endurance. By adding compound lifts like squats and deadlifts to your regular workout routine, you’ll increase your strength at an incredible rate.
As well as strengthening your muscles, lifting weights is also a brilliant way to burn body fat. By using weights in the gym, you can increase your lean body mass, which increases how many overall calories you burn throughout the day.
You could burn a comparable amount of calories from an hour of cardio as you would an hour of weight training, but by hitting the weights, your body’s improved metabolism will continue to burn calories after your workout while you’re sat at work or binging Netflix.
Lifting heavy weights is also great for your core, as it engages your abdominal muscles automatically. So, it’ll give you an abs workout without you even knowing!
Have you ever woken up after a long session on the treadmill with sore knees and stiff hips? Well, weightlifting maybe the solution you’re looking for. And it’s not just running: weight training is also great for sports with lots of heavy footfalls like football or tennis.
The more you train your muscles, you’ll find your landings taking much less of a toll on your joints. That’s because strengthening the muscles around your joints will help protect them as you exercise.
Strong joints, ligaments and tendons are very important for preventing injuries during exercise, so lifting weights ensures you wake up feeling good-as-new instead of full of aches and pains.
Weightlifting doesn’t just strengthen your muscles: it strengthens your bones, too.
By regularly exercising with weights, you can help prevent bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures or even osteoporosis. Studies have even shown that lifting heavy weights can not only maintain bone mass but can build bone density, too.
The benefits of lifting weights are not just physical – you can also receive a serious boost to your mood and self-esteem.
Training with weights releases endorphins, hormones that relieve stress, fight depression and make you feel happy overall. They also stimulate your brain, helping you to stay focused and full of energy.
It’s not just these hormones that make you feel good, either. For first-time weightlifters, watching yourself progress and lift heavier weights than you thought possible is a fantastic way to build your confidence, too!
If you’ve been inspired to grab a pair of dumbbells and see how lifting weights can benefit you, head down to your local DW Fitness First gym.
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I don't post a huge amount on my main feed about the stuff I do in the gym, but today I wanted to. The last couple of weeks I've found tough – trying to juggle everything and get time to do what I want for me. I can't do everything and my gym stuff has slipped whilst I attended my primary role of educating the children. It affects my mood and my patience when I don't have time to pursue my own things. I've felt like I'd hit a bit of a wall in terms of my enjoyment and progress. It happens. Things stall, life takes over. But that enjoyment always comes back. On Friday I managed to get a deadlift PB with a weight that just a few weeks back I couldn't do. It felt good. This morning I pushed myself hard on hip thrusts and managed 60kg – a huge improvement from the 30kg just a couple of weeks ago I was struggling with. Looking at pictures from last year and I can see the physical difference so I know changes are happening and consistency is key. Even if that does mean leaving the house at 530 on a Sunday to get a session in.