"But I don't want to get bulky"
I had this mindset. I grew up playing sports and lifting weights wasn't part of our practices. They mostly consisted of cardio based drills or running up and arounds through the bleachers to torture us. Lifting was for the guys.
All the girls during gym class would opt to do the cardio based options while the boys would hit the weights. It was just normal that way. I never saw it as something that I enjoyed doing because it was burned into my head that in order to lose fat and be the skinny girl I wanted to, you had to do all the cardio and hate yourself through it.
If you've heard my story before you know that I went from doing absolutely no exercise and consumed by two eating disorders, to lifting weights 6 days a week (2x a day sometimes) and cardio EVERY SINGLE DAY. Now, the second part is also not very healthy, but my point here is....Once you step foot in the gym and decide that no matter how stupid you think you might look, you are going to make an effort to change yourself because you love yourself and not because you care about what anyone else says, this mindset of getting "bulky" will fade away.
Lifting weights gives you some type of discipline and drive that you just dont normally get when you mindlessly do cardio. It lets you, in a way, step out of your body and get away for a little while. It encourages you to be strong in a way you didn't think was possible. It gives you a undeniable confidence that if you cant lift weight, then you can surely do other hard things.
I think one of the worst things you can do for yourself is not do something in fear of the world judging you. Because thats usually what it boils down to right?
Either you make excuses to how you are too busy or you just don't want to look like a fool.
Think about it though. Every single women who steps foot in the gym and decides to start a fitness journey, has started in the same position you are in. The women who are strong, lean, and knowledgeable about fitness, are the ones who grinder through the judgement they thought they faced and acknowledged the fact that they are going to get anywhere by standing still.
If this is the place you are in right now, I understand. But there is nothing more powerful and rewarding than doing something you are afraid of and taking a chance to see how it may change your life. If you just dont want to do it alone, thats fine. Hire a personal trainer to show you. Go with a friend and learn together. Do your own self research through youtube or bodybuilding.com.
Thats where I started. Thats where anyone starts. Knowing nothing. But I promise if you decide to change your ways of thinking and jump into that weight section of the gym, you'll feel unstoppable.
Here are a few scientific reasons that women should lift weights:
1. Can improve mental health: some studies show that lifting weights can reduce anxiety and boost mood
2. Can support heart health: some studies show that resistance training can reduce blood pressure
3. Can improve body image: some studies have shown that lifting weights can increase your body image and overall physical activity
4. Can change your body composition: some studies show that resistance training can change your body composition by decreasing fat mass while staying the same weight
5. Can support healthy bones: some studies have shown that weight training can maintain or strengthen cone density.
6. Can improve sleep in those with sleeping problems or OSA: some studies have shown to that exercising can reduce the severity of sleeping problems as well all daytime sleepiness and cardiovascular fitness
7. Can increase lifespan: some studies have shown that regular physical activity (strength training) can help you to live as little as 2 years longer.
8. Can increase flexibility and balance: some studies have shown that regular weight training can increase flexibility.