If all those spin classes, yoga poses and treadmill sessions aren’t producing the results you want, it might be time to pick up the barbell.
Don’t be scared, here are 10 reasons why every mum should lift weights.
- You Won’t Get Big. Us woman are often scared of lifting heavy weights, for fear of turning in to Arnie’s twin sister but the reality is, that it’s actually very hard for woman to build bulk. Firstly, we lack the right balance of hormones, testosterone and growth hormone to put on muscle mass the way men do. Secondly, we would have to eat a hell of a lot (I’m talking lots of the right food, lean protein and complex carbohydrates, not a Big Mac Meal washed down with a tub of ice cream ) to gain enough muscle to even be considered bulky. I mean really, have you seen how much a body builder eats?! you have nothing to worry about.
- Burn More Fat. We often fall in to the trap of thinking, that the only to shed the baby weight, is by indulging in the cardio. Yet, while our bodies may be in the fat burning zone during our cardio workouts, not long after we stop exercising, so does the fat burning. With weight training, your metabolism stays elevated for hours after you have finished exercising. Meaning, you can sit on the sofa binge watching Homeland and sit happy in the knowledge that your body is continuing to shed the baby weight!
- Shape Your Body. Running on the treadmill may help with loosing the lbs but it does little in terms of shaping and toning your body. Weight training will slim you down, put curves in all the right places and give the term ‘mummy tummy’ a whole new meaning.
- Get Stronger. Never have I felt the need to be stronger, than since having my son (especially when I am dragging a 11kg weight, mid tantrum, kicking and screaming through a shopping centre) and according to research by the Mayo clinic, regular weight training can make you 50% stronger in just 6 months. By incorporating weight lifting in to your workout, you can litterally double your strength, as your little one doubles in weight…It is also incredibly empowering, being able to kick your other half’s arse at press ups.
- Boost Your Metabolism. Lifting weights increases muscle masss. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories your will burn all day long. Which means, if you are looking to tone up instead of loose weight, you can eat more and not put on any extra weight. Score! (just don’t go over board feeding your sweet tooth and instead, stick to natural, unprocessed foods )
- Prevent Osteoporosis. As we get older our body stops secreting estrogen, making us at risk of losing both bone and muscle mass (particularly prevalent in postmenopausal woman). Resistance training can help combat this loss of bone mass, reducing your risk of osteoporosis. Cause crumbling bones just isn’t sexy.
- Improve Your Mood. Being a mum can be an emotional roller coaster and occasionally we all need a little pick me. The endorphins released in aerobic exercise, are also the same mood lifting endorphins realised in resistance training. Next time you are feeling down, instead of hitting the chocolate, try hitting the gym. Your’ll be surprised at how good it makes you feel.
- Improves Quality of Sleep. Never has anyone known sleep deprivation. quite like a mum, which is another reason why mums should weight train. Strength training greatly improve quality of sleep, aiding your ability to drift off faster and sleep deeper.
- Increases Energy. As mentioned earlier, weightlifting increases your metabolism for several hours after exercise. This increase in metabolism also has a favourable effect on our energy levels. So instead grabbing some extra Zz’s while your little one naps, try grabbing a barbell instead.
- Keep Your Heart Healthy. We have a tendency to think that if we want to get our heart pumping, then cardio is the way to go, however lifting weights can also get the job done. Not to mention, increase your good cholesterol, reduce your bad cholesterol and lower your blood pressure!
Are you a mum who lifts? Share your experience of weight lifting in the comments below.