I have been strength training, or “weight training” for 25 years. I am fit, I am flexible, and I am strong. I really hope that after all these years, you aren’t one of the women that is still afraid of weights. I hope that you understand that without strength, you will not age well. Are you afraid you will get too BIG if you are one of the few women in the weight room? It really is not that easy. If you are thinking of those girls that you have seen from time to time in the muscle magazines, you will not look like that. First of all, they are in a magazine, weight lifting is their career. They are either a competitor, a fitness model, or both. That is not you, nor is it your lifestyle. Now, aren’t you the one with the excuses of why you can’t get to the gym in the first place? That is exactly why you won’t look like they do.
Strength training for the average woman is probably the best return on your investment. You have a retirement fund right? Now, why don’t you have a strength training fund? What is your plan to age well? Please don’t think that it happens naturally. It does take work, and it has great rewards. It is something that you must add into your life if it is not already a large part of your plan. What I mean is that if you don’t get stronger now, you will only get weaker. As we age, our muscles lose strength, and density. Women use the word “tone”, when actually the definition of tone is how taught your muscle is in a relaxed state. So forget the word tone. What you need is good old fashioned muscle. Muscle that has strength, and can help you do daily tasks without injury. This is part of the reason that people cannot take care of themselves when they are older. They did not take into account that their muscles atrophy as they age. They did not think that by not strength training, they will also lose balance. There is however a way to prevent this. It is very easy to implement into your life. As any plan you make as an adult with responsibilities, make this one a very important one!
Strength training builds muscle, it builds bone, and it creates confidence. If done properly, you not only get stronger, you will have many other benefits. You will have a higher resting metabolism by adding more muscle to your frame. Muscle is metabolically active tissue. Who doesn’t want a faster metabolism? With more muscle, you will have better balance. You will actually have to eat more, not less to keep your muscle from atrophying, so dieting will be out of the question. Now of course, if you have a large layer of fat that is covering up your muscles, then that is something that diet and exercise must get rid of.
Starting a program is easy. My favorite books are listed here. Imagine that you worked out 2-3 times weekly. Do you know that in as little as 3 weeks, you can get stronger? Did you know that even adding 1 pound of muscle to your frame can increase your resting metabolism? Now doesn’t that sound better than dieting, and counting calories? Doesn’t looking into your future and seeing a fit, happy, strong woman sound great? Now, think of the women that you see either bent over, or walking with a cane? How does that make you feel? Now, what are you doing to prevent that? It is an active choice. Functional Strength is something that you must add to your New Years to do list. Beginning now, plan to get stronger. Plan to make next year the fittest, and healthiest of all years before. If you don’t do anything, start. If you work out once in a while, commit to working out with a partner. Having someone to remain accountable to will really keep you from falling back into old, weak, flabby habits. Whether you are 20, or 60, no excuses allowed.
Prevent injuries by getting stronger. Prevent weight gain by strength training. Prevent depression by adding a weight training program to your life. Knowing that YOU control your health is a great feeling. Don’t be one of those women surprised by numbers that a doctor reads to you. Take control of your body, your strength, and your diet. Eat for energy. Eat for longevity. Strength for women is empowering. Energize yourself with a plan NOW!
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Always check with your health care practitioner before starting a new exercise program.
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