Women & Weight Training: Five Reasons to Start Now

 

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“The stronger she became..the stronger she became”

Many women are wary of lifting weights at the gym. I have definitely been one of them; it is intimidating if you do not know what you are doing. Weight and strength training is becoming much more popular among many of the studio workout classes for this reason. Studies have shown that women who incorporate strength training into their workouts are not only more likely to gain confidence physically, but also mentally & socially. In my opinion, this is the best reason to start weight training now. There is nothing more rewarding than having and radiating self confidence. Recently, there have been many new movements by popular athletic brands to express this ideology: Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign, Athleta’s Girls on the Run Program, and Reebok’s “Be More Human” campaign.

Gisele Bündchen : I Will What I Want campaign. Photo from adweek.com.

 

Here are 5 additional reasons you should start adding some weight training into your weekly workout routine:

  1. Lean Body Mass
    Weight training allows you to preserve muscle mass which your body naturally loses and replaces with fat as you age.
    Fun Fact: 1 pound of fat takes up to 18% more room than a pound of muscle
  2. Burn More Calories & Increase Metabolism
    Weight Training works to eliminate body fat while building lean muscle tissue which then allows you to more efficiently burn calories. Weight Lifting spikes your metabolism long after the workout, because your muscles need energy to repair their fibers.
  3. Increases Bone Density
    Over time bone density can begin to decrease; strength training will prevent this from occurring as well as help prevent bone related injuries.
  4. Heart Healthy
    Decreases blood pressure and lowers the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases & cancer.
  5. Overall Lifestyle
    Studies have shown that weight lifting aids in stress relief, depression, improves sleep patterns, and increases productivity.

Check out my favorite local fitness blogger, Nicole Perr’s site, Pumps and Iron which has SO many easy weight routines to try!

This article also appears on Women’s iLab to inspire the next generation of female leaders.

Exploring New Studios: DanceFit

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This past week I decided to continue exploring new studios in the area in order to mix up my routine; and the next on my list was DanceFit Studio. I tried out their HotBarre class last Thursday and went again for a second time last night. Lets just say I have fallen in love with this little studio.. DanceFit Studio is located in Natick and offers a variety of fitness classes for all ages that focus around different types of dance. For Adult Fitness they offer Zumba, BalletFit, CardioBalletFit, Pilates, PopFit, BlastFit, HotBarre, and a Deep Stretch & Tone class. I have only been to their Hot Barre class twice but can’t speak highly enough of the owner and one of the instructors; Gina. She makes her classes up beat and very instructional as well. I learned a lot about ballet in my first class which I didn’t expect going into it. HotBarre is a quick 45 minute class in 94-96 degree heated room. It incorporates a lot of the same technique as Pure Barre but with a bigger emphasis on ballet postions and movements. Many of the rountines require small weights to add extra strength conditioning throughout the class. I really enjoyed this class because it was very different from what I am used to and fun to incorporate ballet dance into a fitness class; It brought back memories of doing Ballet as a child. The heated room allowed me to challenge myself and stretch my muscles further than I thought possible. Gina ends each class with a few minutes of stretching and breathing to make it a very relaxing experience and a perfect way to end the evening. I am excited to continue to try the rest of the adult fitness classes she offers because I know they will all be just as great. You definitely feel sore everywhere the next morning too!

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DanceFit also has a studio in Brookline for those of you who live closer to the city and want to try out their classes! Another great perk is that one of their membership options is virtual classes, so you can take them from your own home or while traveling! All in all, I <b>highly</b> recommend anyone looking to switch up their routine and try something different to try out this dance fitness studio.

Sign up for their new client special and try two classes for the price of one : http://www.dancefitstudio.com/barre–fitness.html

Exploring New Studios: Btone Fitness & Turn Style Cycle

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My first trip was to Btone Fitness in Wellesley. It is similar to Pure Barre in the sense that it focuses on small movements and muscle contractions to tone your body. The difference is that it uses the new lagree fitness pilates machines. This allows you to work different areas and add resistance with each movement. When I first walked into the studio and took a look at the machines I was nervous that I would spend most of the class figuring out how to use the thing but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to switch positions and keep up with the class. The music is upbeat and the vibe is very fun. I woke up the next morning SO sore. This was a cool way to change up my workout but sticking with the same concepts from what I am used to doing.

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My second trip was to Turn Style Cycle in Cambridge. It offers Spin and TRX classes. I have taken both and cannot get enough. I leave the studio sore each time and find that every class is different. The Spin classes use the Real Ryder bikes (these are the bikes that move side to side as you ride) which allows you to burn 20% more calories than using a stationary bike! Each class is created around a playlist which is blasted over the speakers with the lights off, it is an upbeat and engaging sweat sesh. Rich the owner (and an instructor of both classes) is extremely passionate about his studio and making sure each person that comes into his studio has an amazing experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone in the area.