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Wellness Wednesdays…Toned Muscles = Stronger Bones & Healthier Life

This has been one of my favorite pictures for a long time. I’m not sure if she actually strength trained regularly or was just posing for the picture, however, I can relate to her physique a lot more than I can most others I see in magazines today!

“To lift or not to lift?” This is the question many women ask themselves. Over the century the number of women who are strengthening their body has increased. Go Women!!!  Why do so many women still shy away from “Strength Training”?

First let’s clarify that “strength training” is different than body building, weightlifting, power lifting.  Ladies, you do not have to worry that you will get muscles like a man. Women do not have the same hormonal balances that make that easy. All of the shredded muscular women that you may see inOxygen Magazine, for example, work extremely harder than I am suggesting or is necessary to reap the rewards of strength training.

Strengthening our muscles simply means to “overload” or work them in a manner that requires more than our everyday activities.  For example, if the only activity you currently get is walking your dog, your chest muscles and upper body may be very weak. So a great starting point may be push-ups on your counter-top three times per week. Plus lateral raises with cans of beans or water bottles. Are you starting to get the picture? It’s important to meet your body where it is and make improvements from there.

For those of you who do go to the gym regularly and are attending classes, CONGRATS!  The question I would like you to ask yourself is have you been using the same 3 pound dumbbells in class for more than 2-3 months?  It may be time to increase to 5 pounds. If you can continue to do the same movement more than 15 times with ease, it’s time for more resistance.  Again, our bodies get great at whatever we ask it to do on a regular basis.  There is a lot of truth in the concept of “muscle confusion.” We will continue to maintain our metabolism and muscle tone if we continue to challenge our body. A certain move should feel challenging by the 10-12th repetition, while still maintaining good form. If not, change it or increase!

If you are still wondering with you should add or increase your strength training, here is a list of positive effects for women who include strength training:

  • Decreased risk of osteoporosis
  • Increase bone density
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Increase muscle mass(better metabolism)
  • Decreased body fat
  • Activities of daily living made easier
  • Decreased risk or mosbidity and mortality
  • Elevated HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Improved joint function

If you do not know where to begin, invest in yourself and work with a personal fitness trainer to learn proper technique and form.  If you feel that you just do not have the time (believe me, I understand this challenge), let’s be realistic…we ALL have 30 minutes for ourselves.  You can also begin with my new DVD Get Ready Get Fit Get Real & Deal With Your Body. The benefits far outweigh the sitcom that is on TV!

What is your favorite strength workout or move?  Please Share!

You can also share on my FaceBook Page at SOLOMA Fitness with Jeanette.