Most of us know we should be doing 150-300 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per week, right? What’s less known is that the World Health Organisation guidelines also recommend muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week. But is strength training necessary?
YES. It really is!
Regular strength training, which can include weightlifting, has been shown to improve overall fitness by helping the body to build and maintain muscle mass, which in turn helps you burn fat, increase bone density, improve posture and balance, prevent injury, and improve heart health. It’s especially important for women, who are more prone to osteoporosis and lose approximately 3-8% muscle mass per decade after the age of 30. Furthermore, when we feel physically stronger it is proven to improve our mental wellbeing and quality of life.
Yet, according to Sports England a staggering 78% of women are not meeting the recommended guidelines.
New Couch 2 Kilos Challenge
That’s why community fitness app, Her Spirit, in partnership with British Weight Lifting has launched a new challenge called Couch2Kilos. It’s a simple and effective six-week programme for women of all abilities to help boost their strength, body composition, stability, and mental health. It’s designed over three levels, from bodyweight to weightlifting, and includes workouts (you can watch live or on replay) with expert coaches to answer your questions and guide you along the way. There’s also an amazing online community to support and cheer you on throughout.
Our hope is that it inspires a new generation of women to get stronger for life. Women sometimes avoid strength training or weightlifting because they think it can be dangerous or will make them bulky. But these are just stereotypes we must smash.
- Strength Training Or Weightlifting Makes You Bulky. Women just don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up in 2-3 sessions per week. In fact, if consistent and done right strength training can help you get smaller and maintain the body shape you desire.
- It’s Scary & Intimidating. It shouldn’t be scary, and our advice is to start small. You don’t even need to equipment or dumbbells at first. Why not start by putting some books in a rucksack for extra weight? Or use a towel jammed into a closed door and pull your bodyweight towards the door and then back.
- It’s Not As Effective As Cardio For Weight Loss. We need to shift away from the ‘cardio till you drop’ mindset and the idea that physical activity needs to be 30 minutes on a treadmill. Lifting weights can increase your lean body mass, which increases the number of overall calories you burn during the day.
- Weightlifting Is For Men. No, no, no. Lifting weights is crucial – especially for women. When we hit menopause, we are more at risk of osteoporosis than men – so it’s important to try and increase that bone density.
So now you have some ideas to get started with what are you going to fit into your next weeks fitness regime?
Leave me a comment and we will make that difference together…
About The Author
Holly Woodford is co-founder of Her Spirit. She has spent decades working in the sport, fitness and health market and grew increasingly frustrated by the way the sector approaches women’s participation and how the diet industry has set women up to fail.
Holly is passionate about helping people of all ages become fitter, stronger and healthier. She is a strong advocate of technology and its ability to connect and enable mass populations to become more physically active and nutritionally fuelled for a healthier lifestyle. Holly believes a more modern, inclusive, person centric approach to building healthy habits is needed to break the cycle of inactivity for thousands of women.
Her Spirit is a free to download app available via Apple and Google app stores. Its mantra is Together We’ve Got This and together its community of 22,000 members are part of a supportive community and receive personalised coaching through a mix of live digital classes including HIIT, yoga and indoor cycling and in-person challenges such as wild swimming events.
To sign up to Couch2Kilos visit www.herspirit.co.uk