Why Weight Lifting is Beneficial to Women

Women weightlifting

Women weightlifting

Kaitlin Lester, Reporter

The lack of education about weight lifting has been the major barrier of women participating. There are many negative connotations and stereotypes surrounding women who lift weights. Most if not all of these are based on a false narrative created by society’s perception of how a woman should be. The only thing that weight lifting does to a woman is improve their health in every aspect.

“Working out has made a huge impact on me in so many ways. It didn’t just fix my bad habits like being lazy or having a bad diet. It helped me have something to work for and something to look forward to. It helped me be more confident in myself. It helped me learn how my body works and what it needs to be healthy. I’ve learned to push myself and work everyday even when I don’t want to. Most of all it’s helped me grow as a person,” Katelynn Marler, a sophomore said.

Improved Physical Health

Weightlifting improves physical health in many ways. Research has shown that those who lift are less likely to die prematurely compared to those who don’t.

Lifting weights stresses the bones, which can allow the bone density to increase and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It can help the body gain weight in muscle mass or help in losing weight. Weight lifting can help people reduce or prevent things such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

It is the most efficient way to build muscle. Lifting heavy weights stresses to cause the muscles to adapt and grow to be able to lift the weight. The strength you gain helps with more than just being able to lift the weights. It allows daily tasks and routine to cause less stress on the body.

Stronger Mental Health

A study by Harvard found that weightlifting has been proven to decrease depression. This is because exercise produces and releases endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. These are pretty much the things that make you happy.

Anxiety can be lowered up to 20% by weight lifting. Researchers believe that increased ability of skills leads to feelings of mastery and confidence, which then could reduce anxiety. Strength training is not only a source of self-identity, but it is also a site of collective experience and enforced norms of affective behavior.

Women who lift are able to feel more confident in their bodies. By seeing changes in not just the physical way their body looks but the way it changes the littlest things, confidence begins to brew. Lifting weights and being able to do things that they or others thought they couldn’t do before, allows women to believe in their own capability. When you believe in yourself, your confidence grows expeditionally. 

“Weight lifting has changed my life for the better. It’s improved so many things for me, my mental and physical health. My mental health being the biggest challenge that it has helped me begin to overcome. Weight lifting has become an escape from everything for me. It is my time, the time I get to focus on just myself. It helps me reflect. It’s changed the way I view myself into something more positive. It gives me something to focus on. Everyday I strive to work hard so I can keep my positive mindset that lifting has helped me achieve,” Tayler Rayfield, a sophomore volleyball player said.

Changed Body Image

In some women’s eyes, the only reason to work out is only to change the way their body looks. This can cause hyper-fixation on looking a certain way, which can quickly turn into something unhealthy. That unhealthy thought process can go in many directions.

Some may stay away from weight lifting because they are afraid of how their body image might change and be perceived. Women have been targeted with harmful phrases that encourage the idea that being muscular will only make you look like a man. This has led millions of women to spend countless hours toiling away on cardio equipment and far away from weights. Women who lift weights will not instantly have a significant muscle mass. Women who do have large amounts of muscle mass, have worked to achieve that.

Overcoming false ideas that lifting heavier weights will make you look like a man will allow women to see how lifting weights can improve the way they see themselves. It has been proven by multiple studies that weight lifting increases the self-esteem a woman has in herself. By lifting weights and seeing what the body can accomplish instead of focusing on the way it looks, women are able to feel empowered in their bodies. That empowerment along with the confidence, works to improve one’s self-esteem. Self-esteem doesn’t come from having one certain body type like the world expects women to have. It comes from recognizing your virtues, skills, and positive qualities, and fully expressing them in the world.

Studies have found that engaging in a weight training program improved women’s psychological outcomes that have a history of eating disorders. By shifting the focus from looks to ability, those who struggle with eating disorders are able to put the negative thoughts on the backburner. Seeing the results of what the body is able to do, results in feelings of mastery and accomplishment. More so, it gives those women a healthy goal to continue to be better.

In Conclusion

Weight lifting overall is something very beneficial to everyone, but it benefits women in ways that can not just be seen on the surface. Many women have purposefully stayed far away from weights, because of the so called negative effects weight lifting has. Most if not all of those effects or not true. They are simply things that are said or put into place to get women to fit into society’s expectations. It’s important for women to learn these benefits and educate other women on how helpful weightlifting is. It increases the overall quality of life for so many women. It is only right that other women know how it can improve their own lives.