Why lifting weights is important for women

It's not uncommon for women to avoid the weights section when they go to the gym, but this week's “Smarter Living” will examine how lifting weights can help reverse the signs of aging.

Sharon met with personal trainer Bekah Morgan who said that women should definitely not shy away from the weights.

“The key is muscle,” she said. “Muscle is a woman's best friend. Muscle is going to help you burn more calories at rest.”

Morgan said that after women reach a certain age, aging starts to take a toll on their body.

“After the age of 30 we actually lose one percent of our muscle mass each year and we lose bone density after the age of 40,” she said.

This can be slowed down and potentially even reversed if regular strength training is added to your daily routine. 

Morgan said one of the biggest myths is that lifting weights will make you bulky. In reality, muscle is what gives you a tight and toned body.

Morgan showed Sharon just a few lower body circuit workouts that she likes. These include step-ups, walking lunges and sumo squats.

For examples of these workouts, you can check out the video on the top of the page.     

Morgan suggests that if weights are a new addition to your daily routine, it's a good idea to start with something light, maybe around five pounds. As your body gets stronger, increase the weight and add variety.

The lower body muscles are the largest in your body, so it's good to challenge them and keep your muscles guessing. It's also important to make sure you give your muscles a break – she suggests working on your lower body one day and your upper body the next. Consistency is the key.

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