If you’re a woman, then you know how to multitask like an expert.  From changing a baby’s diaper while checking your Facebook status, to meeting a 5 o’clock deadline at work while still getting dinner on the table for your family, you know what it means to achieve tasks to the utmost degree. Want to do more than ever before? Then get this: according to a study done in 2010 on the physical benefits of exercise, some mice were given a wheel to run in, while the other group of mice was completely sedentary.

The result? The mice that exercised actually developed new brain cells, making them smarter than their sedentary friends. For women, that means as we build muscles, we build brain cells. Go to the weight room for an instant intellect boost and multitask better than ever before!

Turn Free Weights into a Fun Workout

Weights may look intimidating, but that doesn’t mean they are. Forget the bodybuilders grunting and moaning. Move past them and their chest presses (let them sweat it out on their own!) and onto the free weights. Do you want to lose weight faster than doing just cardio alone? Do you want to beat your competition for that upcoming promotion? Do you want to feel sexy, confident and assured? If you’re new to resistant training, this is the perfect way to introduce yourself to the free weight world.

Bicep Curl. Stand up for this first exercise, and face the mirror. Start with a light weight, either 3lb dumbbells or 5lb weights, and holding them down by your legs (palms facing out), bring them up slowly towards your chest. Bring them back down slowly (speed is the key to this workout). Your goal is to do three sets of 10 reps.
French Presses. French presses are easy to do and give you quick results. Lie flat on your back on an exercise bench. With a dumbbell in each hand, raise them to the ceiling, with your hands facing one another. Slowly (and in control) bring them down by counting to ten. This exercise is complete after you’ve done three sets of 15 reps each.
Upright Row. Got back problems? Then make sure to incorporate this exercise in your weekly workout! Stand up straight and face a mirror to ensure you’re posture is correct. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and slowly raise them in front of you (straight up to your chin, not outwards.) Slowly bring those weights down by counting to 10 and repeat 4-6 more times and for two more sets.

Some additional weight lifting tips include:

Start off light. If you want to slim down rather than bulk up, start off with lighter weights than you actually need, but do more reps. This will still allow you to build muscle but without getting those broad shoulders or biceps you want to avoid.
Get to know your weight room! Although this how-to guide is based on a free weight workout, don’t be afraid to move on to the big machines. Become familiar with their names, how they work and most of all, how to use them safety.
Target all the major muscle groups. Each weight machine designates strength training for a different muscle group and sometimes several: back and shoulder, biceps, upper chest, etc. Make sure to hit all the muscle groups within a week’s time to see maximum benefits.

You’re confident. You’re capable. And now by incorporating an easy weight lifting exercise program into your workout, you’re smarter than ever.