Wont lifting make me bulky?
No, not at all, this is a common misconception often among women that lifting weights = massive muscles and a masculine look. Trust me the guys who want big muscles will tell you that its not that simple
Lifting weights at a moderate intensity for sets of 10-12 will improve the look of the muscles, they will become firmer, or more 'toned'. They might grow a little and will enhance the natural shape and become stronger.
Female’s don’t have the same testosterone hormone levels as men which is one of the key factors which allow men to build larger muscles than women. Also, continued muscle growth even in men requires alot of planning in terms of progressing intensity and calorie consumption.
Lifting weights (or some form of resistance training) is highly recommended for men and women of all ages, for middle aged women specifically it can reduce the risk of osteoporosis as resistance training can maintain bone integrity.
Also, as you get older and use muscles less, the muscles begin to waste away, this can make you weaker, can damage your posture and can reduce your metabolic rate making weight gain more likely.
Related: how to improve your posture in 15 minutes
The most effective way to train the muscles is by doing movements which require the most muscle recruitment, these multijoint exercises will stimulate more muscle to work which gives me a time efficient workout.
Not all lifting has to require dumbbells either. Bodyweight movements are highly effective especially for the beginner, ab crunches and bodyweight squats are effective forms of resistance training which you may have heard of, there is also press-ups, pull ups , tricep dips, lunges and more. There are also various machine based exercises which guide your body into the correct movement pattern to ensure safety and effectiveness which I use in the gym.
I personally include weights twice a week into my routine, I mix it up but I often enjoy doing a basic dumbbell workout. here’s what I d