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Should I Add Weights to My Workout Routine?

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Should I Add Weights to My Workout Routine?

Working out with weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells weights when you’re exercising might seem like something you’d rather avoid. Especially if you’re female, as often, weights have negative connotations around becoming ‘too muscly’ and losing femininity.

But it really doesn’t have to be that way! Adding weights into your exercise routine in the right way helps to burn fat and add lean muscle mass and definition – because after all, strong is the new sexy. 

The benefits of using weights

Lifting weights gives the muscles a work out. When we work our muscles, we cause tiny tears to form in the muscle fibres – that’s why exercise hurts the day after! The body then works hard to repair these tears and in doing so, creates more lean muscle mass, improving tone and definition.

Not only that, lifting weights helps to burn body fat, leading to weight loss. And you don’t need us to tell you how good that feels! Changing our body composition by burning fat and building muscle helps us both physically and mentally. Physically, it helps reduce our risk of chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Mentally, it improves our mood, boosts our confidence and means we experience better sleep.

Using weights when we exercise not only helps to strengthen the muscles, it also helps to improve bone strength. As we get older, this is especially important to help improve stability and prevent falls, broken bones and conditions such as osteoporosis.

What weight should you be lifting?

You don’t have to rush out and buy expensive sets of weights. The weight doesn’t have to be heavy, especially when you’re starting out , and you can use tins of beans / tomatoes / whatever tinned food you have (just try to make sure you have the same weight in each hand) – whatever you decide to use, make sure it’s heavy enough to challenge you. Another good tip is to use bottles of water, which tend to be easier to grip than tinned food. You can also control the weight by what size bottle you use, and how much you fill it up. What a great way of reusing plastic water bottles too!

Then, when and if you’re ready, you can think about buying real weights if you like. Having previously practiced with filled water bottles or tins, you’ll also be able to gauge what weight to buy.

As a general rule, one litre of water weighs around a kilogram. So if you feel that a litre bottle of water in each hand is challenging enough, then if you’re looking to buy weights, use this as a guide. If you feel like you could push yourself more, then increase the weight of the free weights that you buy.

You’ll need the weight to add enough resistance that you’re challenging yourself but not so heavy that your workout isn’t effective as you can’t carry out each movement with proper form.

So wherever you are in your Own Your Goals fitness journey, try adding some weights to your next workout and reap the rewards!

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