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Cardio is important, but don’t forget about building muscle too! Muscle burns fat and helps keep us healthy! See why you should lift weights as part of your exercise regimen.
17 Reasons Why You Should Lift Weights
Do you lift weights? I know most men make it a part of their workout, but what about us women? Weights are very important for us too! I will admit, I think doing cardio is more fun. I enjoy running, it’s a great way to get some fresh air and clear my head. I enjoy going to Jazzercise because I it motivates me to work out with others and the music is always fun and upbeat.
How Can Beginner Build Muscle?
Adding weights to your workout is a great way for a beginner to build muscle. A beginner looking to build muscle should start using 2-15 lbs with 2 to sets per workout. You’ll know which weights you should lift by knowing how many pounds you can lift 10 to 12 times for 2 to 3 sets without harming yourself.
I will admit that I am absolutely horrible about motivating myself to lift weights at home, I even have a weight set and kettle bells, but I will rarely pick them up. I have to go to a class to get my weights in. I go to Jazzercise two times a week (the other days I run or walk) and Jazzercise is where I get my weights in! We do 30 – 40 mins of cardio and then we focus on strength training for the remainder of the class.
A popular question about adding weights to your workout is, “when should you increase weight when lifting?” I’ve found that you will need to be able to lift at least 5 to 8 reps, 12 to 15 for building muscle size, comfortably before you should increase weight when lifting.
I shared a little bit about my workout routine because it’s important to know that you everyone is different. And honestly, what I can lift one day may be different from what I can lift the next day. Taking a rest day will help your body rejuvenate and rebuild muscle tissue after being stimulated during a workout with added weights. It’s best to take one to two rest days per week if you plan to work out all week long. I give my muscles a rest on the days that I walk or run, again they get their workout in when I am at Jazzercise.
If you plan to spend weekends with your family and prefer to get your workouts in during the work week, then you could make the weekends your two rest days, that’s what I do! This is a perfect way to indulge in some quality family time without any other obligations and allow your body to recoup from the week’s workouts.
Here are some Reasons Why You Should Consider Adding Weights to Your Workout:
Easy way to add more resistance
Adding weights to your workout will give you more resistance and in turn a better workout without having to add extra time to your daily exercise routine.
Easy to do at home
Lifting weights or adding weights to your workout is an easy process to do with your at-home exercises, so no need to go the gym to get your weight lifting session in.
Your metabolism will increase
Ummm….yes please. As women age, we lose muscle mass. It just happens. Less muscle means a slower metabolism. When you add weights to your workout, your metabolism will also stay increased long after your workout stopped.
Increases your endurance
You’ll be able to run longer, swim longer, spin long and just about do any other workout longer when you add weights to your workout.
You’ll burn fat
Did you know that each pound of muscle burns about 30 calories a day just to sustain itself? That means the more muscle you have, the more calories will you burn – even if you are just sitting at your desk!
Reduces muscle loss
As we age, our body starts to lose muscle mass so adding weights into your daily workout routine will help you maintain muscle mass as you age.
Improves motor performance
Weight training helps strengthen connective tissues, tendons, and muscles leaving you to have a better motor performance with everyday activities.
Your body will get firmer
Cardio helps us burn calories and fat, but adding weights tighten will your body. That helps us define those muscles…and help gravity 😉
Boost your balance
Adding weights to your workout helps improve muscle and balance which helps reduce the chances of falling. You can also try yoga! I know I need all the help with balance I can get!
You’ll start seeing your body change
Fat takes up more room in your body than muscle, as you start to replace fat with muscle – you will notice the changes. Maybe those jeans you haven’t worn in a while will make it to the top of your drawer again!
You’ll be healthier
As you work out more and add to your muscle mass, you will reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. “Muscle helps remove glucose and triglycerides from the bloodstream, which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as hardening of the arteries,” says Timothy Church, MD, Ph.D., a preventive medicine expert at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. It could also help your blood pressure!
You could live longer
The more muscle mass you have, the longer you’ll live according to one 2014 study from UCLA.
You’ll lose more calories
Using weights also increases your heart rate, as your heart rate increases – you burn more calories.
Lifting weights is good for your bones
Strength training is one of the best ways to help protect your bones, and possibly help counteract age-related bone loss.
You’ll sleep better
People who exercise regularly, especially those who add weights to their workout tend to get a better night sleep.
You’ll be happier
If you are healthier, sleeping better, and fitting into your clothes better, you will just naturally be happier! Yep, I can agree with that!
You can wear cool graphic t-shirts
Lastly, adding weights to your workout will let you buy funny graphic t-shirts that are meant for bodybuilders and other weight lifters that will make others and you laugh.
Still not sold on the idea of weights? Maybe you are thinking you don’t have a Jazzercise close (find a location near you here), no gym nearby, no extra money to go out and buy weights or a kettle bell?
I have the answer for that too 😉
You can do lift weights at with things right at home!
If you’re not ready to invest in weights or hit the gym to use their weights during your workout, that’s fine! Many household items work well when you’re considering adding weights to your workout.
Some of the items that I use for weights include:
Cans that hold canned goods (cans of soup can work well)
Full plastic water bottles
Packages of rice or beans
Resistant exercise bands
Bags of produce
I mean, just think about any household item that’s stable and has a little weight to it. There are so many household items that you can turn into weights when you’re considering adding weights to your workout routine. Have a look around your house and use some of these household items to get started. Once you’ve decided that adding weights to your workout is a good fit for you, feel free to purchase some kettle bells or even barbells to have other options for weight lifting during your workouts.
Honestly, you don’t need special equipment or a gym to get strength training in. You just need YOU. You can do push-ups, sit-ups, workout your triceps by doing chair dips, burpees, squats, planks – just to name a few! You can do all these things right at home, at any time of the day.