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Can women lift weights for exercise without bulking up? 

Yes! Weight training is great exercise for women. Not only can it help you to tone up, burn fat and increase your cardiovascular health, weight training can help to build bone density. Increasing bone density and strength is particularly important for women because as women age their risk for developing osteoporosis increases. Osteoporosis is a condition that affects both women and men. Over time, those who suffer from the condition can lose density in their bones, making them become brittle and more susceptible to fracture. Weight training can help protect against this condition, while also giving your body the toned, muscle definition many women look for from their exercise routine.

The key to avoiding bulk when lifting weights is to use low weights and high repetitions. That is, choose a weight heavy enough to cause muscle fatigue by the end of three sets of 15 repetitions, but not so heavy that you cannot lift the weight 15 times consecutively. Follow each set of 15 repetitions with a 30-60 second rest before beginning another set.

For more information on weightlifting and fitness, call The Wellness Center at East Jefferson General Hospital at (504) 849-6868.

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