Want to feel better about your body? Try lifting weights.
As women, when we think about how to feel better about our bodies, grabbing some dumbbells and getting busy usually doesn't come to mind. It's usually more like losing 10 pounds, eating kale or arugula, and drinking more water that we think will help us enjoy the bodies we were given more.
According to science however, strength training may be the single best way for women to feel better about their bodies no matter what their current shape.
The peer reviewed 2013 study followed 342 older rural women through a 10 week strength training program. Before and after the program these women were asked to take a body-image survey. The results were significant. The women who answered the survey expressed greater satisfaction with their bodies after strength training.
In a seperate study, scientists found that women who took part in strength training had better emotional wellbeing compared to a control group of women who did not.
What to take away from this
There are a lot of good reasons why strength training can help improve how we feel about our bodies, especially as compared to other types of exercise. With weight training, it isn't about how you look. The focus shifts not on how much body fat you have or how far you can run, but what you can do with the body that you have.
As you find yourself able to open pickle jars and move things you once had to ask for help doing, it gives you a greater since of accomplishment and wellbeing. It also has a side benefit—it encourages you to add on other forms of exercise as you see real benefits from what you're already doing.
Lifting weights takes guts. You have to be willing to step into a room primarily used by men, and have the courage to begin. When you do however, the benefits can be incredible for your mental health and wellbeing, as well as your overall fitness.
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