Weightlifting more beneficial for women than cardio, yoga

Opinions Columnist | Journalism Junior

Women who are interested in fitness should stay open-minded to weight training as a way of exercise.

There are many misconceptions about women lifting weights. A lot of women think they will become too bulky or too muscular or that if they ever stop lifting, all of the muscle gained will automatically turn to fat. Some think it is too harmful to joints, dangerous or just not beneficial to their health. Women under the impression that these rumors are true turn to yoga and heavy cardio workouts in order to stay healthy and fit. However, this type of exercise alone will not yield the results some women seek.  

Cardio and yoga are not sufficient means of exercise for those who want to reach optimum fitness levels. Cardio, while it does burn some calories, does not get rid of as much excess fat as weight training. A January Bodybuilding.com article stated the more muscle mass gained through lifting, the higher the calorie expenditure will be. Essentially, gains made through lifting increase more and more over time, whereas the amount of calories burned while doing cardio will stay the same.

Lifting weights ensures more effective fat loss and continues to burn calories after the workout is completed. A February Women’s Health Magazine article discusses a study that shows lifting weights burns 40 percent more fat than cardio done alone. Additionally, cardio will burn muscle away in addition to fat, making it difficult to obtain muscle shape. In comparison, lifting weights builds, maintains and tones muscles while melting fat. It is a win-win situation.  

Aside from physical fitness, lifting weights improves health overall. A study in the same Women’s Health Magazine article found that four months of weight training increased bone density and blood flow, both of which are factors in bone growth, by 19 percent. Women’s Health Magazine stated lifting decreases blood pressure, which in turn lowers the risk of heart disease along with reducing the risk of stroke by 40 percent and heart attack by 15 percent. On top of all of these health benefits, weight training increases energy levels, boosts metabolisms, lowers stress levels and will help provide a good night’s sleep.

Women who think lifting is not beneficial to their health should reconsider. It can be intimidating to venture to the “manly” side of the gym with free-weights and squat bars, but it is hugely advantageous to women’s mental, physical fitness and overall happiness.