Women and Weights - I dodged weight training for years - this is why I now think we should all consider weights as part of our wellness habits! by Swell Nel

Women and Weights - I dodged weight training for years - this is why I now think we should all consider weights as part of our wellness habits! by Swell Nel

I avoided weight training for years. Proper cardio junkie status. Excuses ranged from a fear of getting bulky, that section of the gym being a bit scary and worry of dropping a weight on myself (I am pretty clumsy). Then C19 hit, and our two-year marathon of social distancing began. Somewhere in the middle, between that “one hour a day” exercise window and getting covid myself in November 2021, I decided to give weight training a go.  

I am an avid reader of the wellbeing news and all the musing and exploration of how we could stay fit, boost our immunity, and beat the “covid creep” of weight gain got me curious. 

I dusted off the weights (that seem obligatory British garage contents!) and tried some low weight, high rep workouts. It felt good, my muscles suddenly felt hungry for adventure. So, my weights crept up, and the range of weight training moves and workouts I followed progressed. I was hooked on the workout efficiency and physique impact of weights – I wasn’t bulking; I had a suspicion I was actually “sculpting.” 

Over that year, I came to accept I had been wrong for the prior 20ish years :). Here are some of the many reasons why we should take some weight in our training practices, as I am. On my route out of long covid, and post hysterectomy, I am carefully working with the SWELL FIT BAG, and with physios and fitness experts who are helping me find the right moves and path back to full fitness again. I hope you find some inspiration to give it a try – our swellbeings@swellfitness.co.uk are here for any questions and the SWELL HUB is growing everyday with content and classes to provide more support. 

Women should lift to stay strong, improve their muscles and prevent osteoporosis. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, weight training is a great way to stay strong and improve your muscles. 

Strength training has many benefits that make it worth including in your fitness routine. It can help prevent osteoporosis, improve posture and even help you look younger! Strength training also helps prevent injuries by strengthening the muscles that support joints and connective tissue throughout the body. These benefits are especially important for women who want to stay active later in life. 

Weight training can improve your posture and help you look younger. The benefits of lifting weights aren't just physical. 

The muscles you build through weight training work your body from the inside, which means that your posture will improve over time. In fact, it has been shown that people who do regular weight training have better posture than those who don't—and that's a good thing for both your health and appearance! 

A strong core helps keep the spine in alignment and reduces backaches, while stronger legs can make all-day standing more comfortable. If you're someone with bad posture or simply want to look younger by preventing wrinkles (which are often cited to be caused by muscle deterioration), then consider adding strength training into your routine every day. 

Lifting weights can help you lose fat and become leaner. Weight training is not cardio. So, weight training is not going to help you lose weight the same way that repetitive jumping would. However, there are several reasons why you should consider weight training if your goal is to burn fat and become leaner. 

Weight training burns calories after the exercise is over. The calories that you burn while lifting weights are called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPOC). This means that after your workout, your body will continue burning more calories than it normally would have been burning in the absence of exercise. It can take up to 24 hours for your body to recover from an intense resistance training session! 

Weight training can boost your mood and self-confidence. I used to be terrified of lifting weights. I didn't want to get bulky, and I was convinced that lifting weights would make my arms look like Popeye's. But then I realised that not only does lifting weights not make you bulky (unless you're doing a lot more than the average person), but it can actually help improve your mood and self-confidence!  

According to a study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, "Women who participate in resistance training programs report an increase in energy levels and an improved sense of well-being." That's because when you lift heavier weights, your body releases endorphins—which are chemicals related to feelings of happiness and euphoria. Additionally, resistance training can help boost your confidence by giving you the feeling that you have control over your body instead of letting it dictate how much energy or motivation you have on any given day. 

You won’t get bulky from lifting weights. You may have heard that you need to do cardio and avoid lifting weights if you want to keep a slim physique. This is not true, and it’s time for us women to stop being afraid of weights.   

You will not get bulky from lifting weights because most exercises involve using just your bodyweight or light weights like the range you can create with the SWELL FIT BAG. In fact, most women who lift weights tend to become leaner and stronger over time because they are pushing themselves harder than they could on their own. Muscles get more defined as they grow stronger—not bigger! 

Lift weights! 

If you’re a woman who’s been avoiding weight training because you think it’s all about building big muscles and getting bulky, the simplest advice is to give it a try and see how it feels and works for you. 

If you want to become stronger, improve your posture and prevent osteoporosis, then lifting weights is one way of doing this. You don’t need to be afraid of bulking up or looking like a man because it’s now well documented that lifting weights will actually help you lose fat and become leaner – not bulkier! Weight training can also boost your mood and self-confidence; in fact, it's an excellent way for women to feel more empowered in general – I know I feel it when I boost my workouts with weights. 

We’d love to help you make a start with the SWELL FIT Bag; it’s a really wonderful way to build into weight and resistance training gently and safely and we’re working with fitness experts to create more workouts for women to help! Watch this space, and please keep sharing your views and experiences. 

I will keep listening and sharing. Love Nel x 



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