As a modern concept, wellness has gained popularity since the 1950s, and although foundational concepts and goals have been somewhat consistent, the research and evidence has greatly evolved through out the years. From believing cigarettes were beneficial to your health to the low fat trend we saw in the 1990s, health changes and so do people’s ideas surrounding it.
We now know cigarettes do the complete opposite of benefiting our health and we also know that healthy fats benefit our brain and our vital to women’s endocrine system. However, we are seeing a similar belief creep up during this past decade, and that is that cardio is better for women than weight lifting is.
The backing of this false statement comes primarily from the notion that all women should want to have slender physiques with no visible muscle definition. Although some women may agree with this belief and think that weight lifting is synonymous with bulky bodybuilder physiques, it is a complete lie and depending on the weight and repetitions, can actually produce a slender, more toned physique. One that doesn’t require hours of running or jumping around to burn off calories.
In reality, weight lifting has many benefits for women's health that have little to do with physical appearance. Weight lifting can strengthen joints and bones, prevent future injury or even disease, improve mood and mental health as well as serve as a type of cardio that’s low impact and doesn’t include the ever daunting treadmill session!
How is this? Weight lighting is a source of cardio because the stress we put on muscles while lifting leads our body to use stored energy as fuel, and not just while you're lifting either, but throughout your day and after your gym session as well. Not to mention because of the cardio characteristics of heavy weight lifting, studies have shown an increase in cardiovascular health among women as well! So, just as we understood the harmful impact of smoking and reached for our full fat Greek yogurt to better our brains, I urge you not to reach for your running shoes every day of the week and incorporate reaching for some weights instead.
Reference: Strength training might be even better for your health than Cardio. Women's Health. (2021, November 2). Retrieved March 6, 2023, from