Do You Even Lift, Girl?

The Wellness Center can be an intimidating place to start lifting weights. The room is divided down the middle, between cardio and weightlifting, and it can be intimidating crossing over to the other side. Here is why you should do it anyway: 

1. Federal Health Recommendations:

    According to federal health recommendations, “all healthy ages 18-65 should participate in moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes 5 days a week or a vigorous 20 minutes 3 days a week.” In addition to this, “every adult should perform muscular strength and endurance at last 2 times a week.” 

    This was honestly news to me. I thought that if I ran on the treadmill and stretched afterward, I’d be good to go. Thinking about it though, it makes sense. Doing muscle strengthening exercises has been proven to help to increase bone density. As women, we are at much greater risk for osteoporosis. We should start weightlifting at a young age to form healthy lifetime habits and because “the more dense you can make your bones, the more you can lose over time without suffering negative consequences” (builtlean.com). 

2. You Won’t Get Bulky 

    Another major point is that you won’t get bulky. I think a lot of girls have this misconception that if they start weightlifting, they’ll immediately get super muscly. However, it’s really difficult to become really built. People who have big muscles can testify that it didn't happen over night; they had to work really hard and most likely follow a very specific diet and exercise regimen in order to become that way.  

3. Weightlifting Can Help With Weight Loss 

    Ok, I’m not a super science-y person, so in case you’re not either, I’ll break it down for you. 

    To lose weight, you want to expend more energy than you take in. I.e. You want to move around and exercise and put out more calories than the calories you take in via food. The energy you expend is put into 3 main categories: 1) physical activity (anything you do not sitting or lying down) 2) exercise and 3) your resting metabolic rate (RMR). 

    Physical activity and exercise are pretty clear, but what is your RMR? Your RMR is a measurement of the number of calories that your body burns at rest—the number of calories you burn for simply being alive

    So how does weightlifting have to do with any of this? Well, if you increase your lean muscle mass, you’ll have a higher RMR. Essentially, this means that if you gain muscle from weightlifting, you’ll burn more calories from simply existing. How ‘bout that! 

4. Fight The Patriarchy 

    Finally, weightlifting isn’t only for guys. It can definitely be scary trying lifting for the first time, in a section of the gym that is mostly male-dominated. However, we shouldn’t let boys scare us. So cross the divide, help improve your own fitness and make your time at the gym even more worthwhile.