If you look at fitness magazines for women you will find a lot of suggestions for cardio routines, articles on toning certain body parts, and strength training using light dumbbells. The truth is that women should strength train just as men do for full body health and fitness. Unfortunately this message has not been widely spread, and women are missing out on this important aspect of fitness.
Most women want to slim down and be smaller. A common misconception is that if they lift heavy weights they will become big and bulky like men. That could not be further from the truth, as due to hormones and the way the bodies of men and women differ, it is a lot easier for men to put on muscle. By lifting heavier weights women will get some muscle definition but stay lean, unless they are using supplements specifically for that reason.
Weight rooms can be intimidating places for women, especially if they are not familiar with proper form for exercises. They are usually male dominated and women can feel alone and self conscious if there are not other women around. To avoid possibly feeling uncomfortable women will just avoid the free weights and instead use another part of the gym, which is a shame. If there is more knowledge given to women about lifting heavy weights, they will feel more confident about joining in and not feeling alienated.
This is not to say that cardio does not have its benefits. It is great for your heart and lungs, can reduce the risk of diseases, and can improve cholesterol levels. Both men and women will benefit from cardio exercises, but it should not be marketed as the only solution to weight loss for women. By building muscle, more calories are burned over the course of a day and with a healthy diet, that can result in weight loss.
When starting any new exercise routine, it is important to talk to your doctor about your plans and get the okay to proceed. After that, where do you start?
Hiring a personal trainer can be a big help to women new to lifting weights. They will be able to keep an eye on your form to make sure you are doing the exercises right, which is important to help prevent injuries. They could also suggest routines that are suitable for your fitness level.
Some people do not enjoy exercising in public, in which case online is a great tool available to help learn new exercises. There are many websites devoted to weight lifting that include detailed videos made by professionals to watch at home. Especially if you are exercising alone, it is important to keep the weights light when trying an exercise for the first time. Once you are familiar with the proper form you can add more weight.