We are all familiar with VJ Bani and her love for fitness. When we first saw her in Roadies Season 4, she was a petite young girl bubbling with energy and a ‘do-or-die’ attitude that put other contestants at unease. Maybe, it is this never-give-up approach towards life and her propensity to hit the nail on the head that got her where she is today. The badass actress is at it once again, but this time breaking stereotypes in the gym.
Recently, VJ Bani put out a post on her Instagram account where she talked about women’s inhibition to lift weights and people advising her against it, lest she looks manly. Here’s what the first part of the post said: “banij’Lifting weights will make you look manly’ ‘You’re not a girly girl if you lift weights’ ‘I don’t lift weights because I just want to ‘tone up” ‘Girls should only do cardio, lifting is for guys’ ‘So what steroids are you on’ ‘That’s way too much muscle.. For a woman’.”
Being the firebrand ‘fitness-oholic’ that she is, VJ Bani never paid much attention to what people had to say. And this is how she reponded: “All of the above and so much more. I’ve heard it all. And not once because I actually cared enough to ask, ‘hey, what do *you* think of *my* body?’. I never entered the gym because of what people said I ‘should/ ought to/ must’ look like. I went in there to get strong, to be active, to be healthy, to sweat = to feel better, and more ME.”
She further went on to say: “I can’t remember the last time the thought of ‘will this be attractive to so and so’ crossed my mind in relation to myself – let alone to me lifting weight. It doesn’t happen. I love me so much and that’s all that matters, I am so happy (blame all the endorphins) doing what I do day in and out that all else is tuned out. This is something I’ve gotten better at accepting and allowing day by day. That’s why you will always hear people say ‘it’s not just physical, it’s so much more MENTAL’ because to get to where you want to go, you have to look within and really be true to yourself and know that yes, this is what I’m about. This is what matters, this puts me in alignment and makes me a more joyful happy productive being. And guess what? You’ll end up inspiring and encouraging and being that source for other people along the path too. I don’t go around telling people they should eat healthier or lift or try to lose weight, you do you. I’ll do me. If someone asks for help I will always do what I can, I recognise the quest – but you need to recognise whether the desire really is there in you or not. Why else do you think we don’t see more people walking around with their Tupperware containers looking hench af? Because, if your hearts not in it, no matter how much you try – you’ll never get there. Cold hard honest truth. Just like cold hard iron, work and discipline. Just wanted to share that with y’all fam. Do you.”
But before you dismiss it as just another random rant on social media, we tell you how pumping iron can help women.
1) Effective weight loss: If you have been trying to lose those extra kilos since the last few years, maybe it’s time to change your workout routine. Weight lifting is not only a means to add bulk but also a form of strength training. You consume additional oxygen during the workout and and even on days that follow. When your body uses more oxygen it automatically increases your metabolic rate and also leads to more caloric expenditure.
2) Higher energy levels: Through continued weightlifting, you will find your energy levels go up. A study published by the National Institute of Health says that the chronic increase in energy expenditure, even after a short duration of resistance training session may effect energy balance and fat oxidation in a good way.
3) Better heart health: A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that those who pump iron are less likely to suffer from heart disease risks like high triglycerides, high BP and glucose levels and large waist circumference.
4) Defines curves: As your body uses calories more efficiently it begins to take the shape of a nice hourglass figure. It also helps you to maintain your weight.
5) Stronger bones: It’s a known fact that ageing increases the risk of losing bone mass leading to osteoporosis. Most postmenopausal women suffer from it. Experts believe that resistance training is a brilliant way to keep your bones stronger.