By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It has been a slow process but many people are learning the value of weight lifting – often repetitive lifting of lighter weights – as a great form of exercise.

Another commonly asked question is ‘is it good for a woman to lift weights as part of an exercise program?’

There was a time when women were told not to lift weights and you can still hear many women say they didn’t want to lift weights for fear that they would become too bulky or build muscles, and that they would only lose it and have it turn to fat. That can be forgotten.

When a man or woman builds muscle, the muscle actually helps increase the basal metabolic rate or metabolism.

In addition, lifting lighter weights with multiple repetitions helps build core strength.

The important thing to do is make certain that you know what you’re doing so you don’t injure yourself. But women can and should benefit from this form of exercise.