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Hello Sandpoint!! I’m a recent transplant to the area from South Lake Tahoe, where I’ve been a personal trainer, and Group Fitness Instructor for the last 12 years.  As a “newbie” at Natural Fitness Gym, I’ve noticed one major thing missing...Women!! In the weight room!! Where are you??   I understand it all too well.  Studies have proven that women, do not like to look foolish or like they don’t know what they are doing in the weight room. (We like to be in control, right ladies?) The weight room can be very intimidating for new comers. So here’s what women do when they get to the gym, they bee-line it to the treadmill. And sadly, that’s where most of them will stay, in their comfort zone. Now, while cardio is definitely a big piece of the puzzle in a well-rounded workout regimen, without strength training, you are missing a key component to your best results.  So I’ve put together 8 BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING AND WHY WOMEN SHOULD GET OVER THEIR FEARS AND GET INTO THE WEIGHT ROOM. Guys all of these benefits can apply to you too!   1. YOU'RE GOING TO BURN MORE FAT.  Aerobic exercise is great for burning fat, but by staying on the treadmill all the time, you could be burning fat but also your muscle at the same time. When you weight train, you are burning fat but also building lean muscle.   In short, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you’ll be burning, even while you are at rest. 2. YOU'RE GOING TO FEEL MORE CONFIDENT AND EMPOWERED.  Who doesn’t want to feel stronger, sexier and a little more Bad-Ass?  Even if you start with just 2 times per week, if you add strength training into your repertoire, you can be 50% stronger in only 6 weeks.  Little by little, you’ll notice yourself becoming stronger. You’ll notice your push-ups improving.  You’ll be lifting more weight than when you first started.  You’ll be doing things in the gym and outside of the gym that you never thought you could do.  You’ll start to feel stronger mentally.  I’m a huge believer in the work that we do in the gym is directly correlated to the way we live our lives.  You’re going to notice your posture improve, you’ll be standing taller, prouder, and may even experience a massive confidence boost.  Because when you look good, you feel good.  So get ready to start loving your body! 3.  YOUR BODY IS GOING TO CHANGE SHAPE AND YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT IN THE PROCESS.  Would you believe that many women still skip strength training because they fear they will end up looking like a body builder? It’s true. I have had countless women tell me, when I first start training them, “ I don’t want to bulk up or get  bulky.”  And I tell them, “Look at me. Am I bulky? No. Okay, do you trust me?”  And then we begin our journey in the gym together creating a sleeker new and improved version of them. Provided that you are combining the weight training with a smart diet, you will transform your body into a leaner more sculpted physique. In the process, you’ll gain muscle definition and lose belly fat.  And guess what, you’re going to get to eat more too!! 4.  YOUR BONES WILL GET STRONGER. Each year as we get older, we lose 1% bone density / year. So as we age, our bones are getting weaker and weaker. By strength training we can interrupt this natural process and actually strengthen our bones.  So this means less of a chance of broken bones when we fall. Whether it’s a high speed ski crash or falling while carrying in the groceries, accidents happen. Strength training also reduces your risk of Osteoporosis. 5.  IMPROVE YOUR MOOD.  Who doesn’t want to be happier? Those same endorphins that are produced during a runners-high, are present when we lift. You’re going to learn to focus less on the number on the scale and focus more on how you feel.  You’re going to feel more energized.  And when we actively take care of ourselves by doing something like going to the gym, we can actively take better care of those around us. Whether that be our children, spouses, bosses or employees. You will become a better parent or spouse or better at your job because you are becoming a better version of you. It’s all connected.   6.  FIND YOUR INNER ATHLETE.  Some of us may never be a competitive athlete in the Olympics.  But the gym is a place where we can all feel like athletes. You would be amazed by some of the transformations that take place in the gym. Strength training can make you stronger, fitter and faster at whatever disciple you want to excel at. By Strength training, you will also reduce your risk of injury. 7.  LIVE A HEALTHIER LIFE.  By adding in a little weight training each week, you can expect to live longer. You are going to reduce your risk of heart attack, which is the #1 killer of women over 25.  You’ll lower your cholesterol and your blood sugar levels.  You will have less health issues overall.  You are going to be setting a healthy example for your children and loved ones. 8.  YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS.  I know what you’re thinking... I’ve already got enough friends, I’ve got all the peeps I need. Sure, who has time for new people in their life?  When you start working out in the gym, you’re going to notice that you’re suddenly surrounded by like-minded individuals.  You can bring your friends and family with you or make new friends at the gym.  And sometimes when we are getting healthier, it means letting go of negative or unhealthy relationships in our lives.  It means taking an honest look at the people in our lives who are lifting us up and those who are sucking the life out of us.  It means spending little or no more time with individuals who are making you feel less than you are. Choose to be around people who lift you up. And might I add ladies, the gym is a great place to meet a guy if you’re single. Just last Saturday, I looked around the gym and the ratio was 5:1. That’s Five men for every one female in the room. So if you’re a single girl, those are some pretty good odds.  Saturdayafternoon in the gym is the new Saturday night out!! And there you have it- 8 REASONS TO GET INTO THE WEIGHT ROOM!! Why wouldn’t you?  If your still scared or unsure about using the weight room, contact a personal trainer such as myself to show you around the gym safely.  There are also plenty of utube tutorials, just be careful there’s a lot of weird unsafe things people are doing out there. Fitness magazines are usually pretty reputable. Both Women’s Health and Men’s Health magazines are two of my favorite.  And remember, everyone was a beginner at one time, so don’t be shy. Just ask someone if you’re unsure about a certain piece of equipment. You never know who you’re going to meet in the gym. Tara Wallace ACE CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER LIFE COACH SPIN INSTRUCTOR Follow my fitness journey on Instagram: @fit_club_girl_
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