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Monday, June 14, 2010

Wednesday Weigh In - Strong Women Stay Young

My Wednesday Weigh In post is a day or two early...If the usual diet/exercise routine isn't working for you, consider this.  Its an exercise program and morale booster all in one:

The Strong Women Stay Young program from Tufts University shows that frail elderly women with arthritis who engage in slow repetitions of light weight lifting can regain muscle mass, strengthen bones and more.  There is a series of books, including Strong Women Stay Slim, and Strong Women and Men Beat Arthritis.  Pictured here are my dog-eared copies, dated 2000.  You'll want to check out the updated versions.  You'll also want to run any prospective exercise program  past your doctor.

The following graphic is what convinced me to give it a try:


The top photo shows a CAT scan of a thigh belonging to a moderately active 25 year old woman.  Notice the muscle and fat layer.  The next photo shows the thigh of a sedentary 58 year old woman.  Notice diminished muscle, and increased fat layer.  The bottom photo shows the thigh of a 63 year old woman engaged in weight training, with thighs looking much like the 25 year old. 

I figured if little old ladies could do it, so could I!  I followed the SWSY program for several years.  I kept my weights in a basket in the living room and lifted while watching the news.  I only gained weight back when I let my exercise routine go by the wayside.  This was a recipe for trouble, considering I have a desk job, and I'm not getting any younger.  I hope to resume the program soon, pending approval by my physical therapist. 

We constantly hear about "revolutionary" food and exercise programs that are usually ineffective.  This makes us skeptical, and rightly so.  So don't just believe me.  Consider this review from Library Journal:


"Studies have shown that weight-bearing exercise improves bone density, crucial to preventing osteoporosis in women. Nelson's research at the School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, the results of which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, proves that strength training also improves balance, increases energy, and helps to control weight, especially when used in conjunction with regular aerobic activity. This book presents a program for strength training based on a graduated schedule of weight-lifting exercises. The exercises can be done either with free weights or on a weight-lifting machine. In addition, Nelson provides suggestions for maintaining one's motivation and finding the time for exercise. Well done and easy to follow, this would be a useful purchase for public and health libraries." Susan Hagloch, Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia, Ohio

For more info, see: http://www.strongwomen.com/books/index.htm#beatarthritis ,
 
and http://www.amazon.com/Strong-Women-Young-Miriam-Nelson/dp/0553588737 ,
 
or take a walk and visit your local library.  :)

2 comments:

bettyp said...

Thanks for sharing this with us .I walk with Leslie Sansomne and sone days I walk 5 miles.I have lost 30 lbs and just can't seem to move the scale latly . I need to look for this book!!

Stephanie said...

I will check out this book! Looks great. Hard truth is what it is going to take me to make a change! WOW, thanks for sharing this! Steph