If you’re a woman (or a man, for that matter), when is the last time someone told you to lift weights? I mean heavy weights, so heavy you can barely get them off the ground.
I’ve never been strong. In fitness class in high school my friends and I used to have competitions to see who could finish a lap the slowest without incurring the wrath of the gym teacher. I was a ballerina up until college and took up yoga thereafter. I was an intermittent runner and a poor tennis player. I didn’t much care for it.
And then, a year ago, I began to lift weights. For the first six months I couldn’t lift more than a 7 lb dumbbell. My knees hurt, my wrists sprained, my muscles burned for days even from that small exertion. One day I was feeling especially robust for no particular reason and lifted something several pounds heavier. I found I could do it. As I continued to increase the increments, I developed muscles for the first time in my life. I’m not talking big, hulking body-builder muscles (which many women seem to fear, and are almost impossible to achieve), but lean, toned muscles of the sort that were barely noticeable in themselves but lead to an overall balance of form and hardening of figure. My posture was better, my energy higher, and for the first time in my life I could actually lift more than a glass of wine.
So go out and buy some weights. They cost anywhere from $50-100 and can be used at home with no other equipment. Squats with kettlebells and bench presses with dumbbells are my personal favourites. Travelling isn’t much fun without the strength to lift a backpack or hike up a mountain.