Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bonus Post!

So things have been a bit crazy this week.  I am going to try and do up a 'race-recap' post from my 5 Miler this past weekend sometime later today, but in the meantime, something to tide you over...

Thid email was sent to me this morning from Bill's Mom.  Now, I do not know who this Molly person is, but I agree with what she has to say.  Here you go:

"Why Women Must Lift Weights

I don't want to scare you, but I will.

If you're 25 years old, congratulations! If you're older than 25, you've passed your prime. The prime I'm talking about is your level of peak strength. This doesn't mean you can't be stronger at 35 than you were when you were 25, but you have to strength train to reach this goal.

The Facts

After you hit your peak, your strength levels plateau between the ages of 35-40. The bad news is that after 40, you begin to experience an accelerated loss of strength. By the time you're 65, if you're the average person, you will have lost about 25% of your strength.

If you lost that much strength overnight, you would struggle getting out of bed and wonder why you felt so weak. The problem is this: we lose strength at such a slow rate that we don't really notice the effects of getting progressively weaker over time.

Then there's the Big C. No studies show that lifting directly lowers your cancer risk. But studies have shown that strength training fights obesity, including abdominal fat, and that has been shown to lower your cancer risk, especially for older women. It's one key part of your overall healthy lifestyle that you don't want to skip!


When I design exercise programs for women, the majority of them don't want to lift weights. Most women want to lose weight (even if it's as little as 5 pounds) and think the only way to lose weight is through cardiovascular exercise, not strength training (we'll discuss this in a minute).

These misconceptions have turned into excuses over the years. Take a look at some of these excuses (and the truths behind them) and see if you've ever used one:

"I don't want to bulk up." This is the one I hear the most. You see a female bodybuilder on a magazine cover and you don't want to look like her! Don't worry about that. These women train 3-5 hours per day, and many admit to taking steroids and other 'growth' substances. Besides, we can't bulk up like men! Men have 15-20 times more testosterone than we do, which is why they are physically stronger (as much as I hate to admit it).

"I'm strong enough to do anything I need to do." Remember, if you're over 40 and not strength training, you're losing muscle mass. You may not feel it now, but you will. Trust me.

"I have a bad back and don't want to aggravate it." Inactivity is the worst thing you can do for a bad back. By doing appropriate exercises to make your back as strong as possible, you will be less likely to suffer from relapses of your existing problem.

"I train for marathons - that's enough strength training!" Training for marathons is hard! But what about the rest of your body? Your arms, back, shoulders and core shouldn't be left out. Your body will love you more (and you'll better protect your joints) if you include strength exercises into your marathon training.

"I only have time for cardio workouts." Do I even need to respond to this? I talk to women who get on the treadmill for an hour (an hour!) and tell me they don't have time for strength exercises. The solution? Split it up: 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength. An added bonus is that you only need to strength train 2-3 times per week.

Get Strong & Stay Strong

Getting stronger means a lot of things.

You'll be leaner and you'll burn more fat, so your clothes will fit better.

You'll be more resistant to injury.

You'll have more stamina as you get older.

You'll be better able to manage chronic conditions (such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, depression, and back pain).

You'll sleep better.

You'll be more confident.

You'll probably even look taller because you'll have better posture!

So get on the path of getting strong and staying strong. Think about how you want to feel when you're 75. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Be strong,


Molly Napolitano has over 20 years of experience in developing medically based fitness and rehabilitation programs. She earned her master's degree in Exercise & Sports Science at the University of Florida in 1989 and went on to specialize in exercise prescription for the elderly."

1 comment:

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