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Strength Training Benefits Women Over 40

By Chuck Smalley

Strength training builds healthy lean muscle and creates an increase in metabolic rate that persists throughout the day. Muscle tissue is naturally active, while stored body fat contributes little to your metabolic rate. Furthermore, when you exercise your muscles with strength training or weight resistance exercises, not only will you burn calories during the exercise period, you will also burn an even greater number of calories for hours afterward as your muscles re-build and recuperate.

Strength training benefits women over 40 in particular. When you combine strength training with aerobic cardiovascular exercise, you will blend a perfect combination for that body you want.

Many women are afraid that lifting weights or strength training will cause them to build bulky muscle and lose their feminine look. This is an inaccurate depiction of the effects a strength training program has on a woman’s body. Developing bulky muscles requires high levels of testosterone, which women lack. The more natural response is for a woman’s body to become more lean and toned. Your arms and legs will take on an attractive shape and curve.

If left un-checked, women over 40 will gradually lose healthy muscle mass and bone density. Strength training for women over 40 actually helps re-build muscle tissue and increases bone density. Reports also indicate that a moderate strength training program can also combat the effects of diabetes, arthritis, and depression. Your body will be stronger and leaner. You will naturally have more energy and a more positive, confident outlook. Everyday tasks such as carrying groceries, holding children, and climbing stairs all become easier. Strength training also promotes healthy tendons, ligaments, and joint function.

By keeping your sets between 6 to 12 reps, performing 4 to 6 sets per exercise, you will balance the objectives of muscle strength, muscle tone, and muscle endurance. Focus on quality and proper form. Perform each rep slowly. This will assist in proper breathing. Slower reps will also reduce the amount of momentum in the movement, forcing your muscle to work harder for a given amount of weight, thereby enhancing the positive effects, and reducing the risk of injury.

By including strength training in your overall fitness program, you will increase strength, improve the proportion of lean muscle mass to body fat, and you will simply feel better about yourself.

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One of the best ways to help maintain your strength and keep your energy up is to ensure you're giving your body the right nutrients every day. A women's vitamin like Geritol Complete contains all vitamins and minerals established as essential for human nutrition; all in a single dose.


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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      4everyoung wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • Guess I’ll be the first comment:
      I am 43 and I have never seriously lifted weights any my whole life.........until December of last year.  A friend of mine, who I might mention is about ten years older than me, started going to the gym here at Marshall University where we work, we even got a personal trainer to assist us because neither one of us really knew what we were doing.

           I began noticing a few years ago the lack of strength that I had when it came to me wanting to change the furniture in my house.........years ago I could move the sofas and love seats and beds, etc. by myself..... I found myself having to wait until a family member came home to assist me and I didn’t like it at all and it actually kind of scared me that I was so dependent on someone else.  Let’s not even go into not being able to open JARS.

           I must say that choosing to go to the gym was the best choice I’ve made in a long time........I’m in better shape now than I was in my 30’s.  I can run a mile in 8 minutes and 38 seconds.....no I cannot win a marathon and yes I’m huffing and puffing when I’m done but I’m still pretty proud of that.  And you don’t have to run...... start out walking and then power walk and try to find a place with slopes to walk.

           We do use the weigh lifting machines but the majority of the weight lifting we do is with dumbells.......the kind that you can buy at Walmart and you can do this at home ..... so there is really no excuse not to do this....... just a 5 to 10 lb dumbell can make all the difference in the world.

           I really suggest if you have thought about strengthening your body....... DO IT.......you will love the results.  And if you haven’t thought about it....... THINK ABOUT it and DO IT!!  It’s a great  gift you can give yourself...... we want to be healthy enough to run after and enjoy our grandchildren dont we?  I’m sure you can search online for tips on what exercises to do with the dumbells if you are not able to go to a gym.  Just give it a try......you won’t be sorry.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      4everyoung wrote Dec 3, 2008
    • Most definitely start out little by little.......but even as you progress you only need to do 10-12 reps and about 4-6 sets as mentioned in the article above per exercise...I suggest to find someone to show you some exercises to do or look online.....it really will help....but with your back surgery you really need to ask your doctor what exercises you should do...my trainer has worked alot to strenthen our backs....he says its our core strength.....my other co-worker has had back surgery years ago and has screws in her lower back......there are certain things she cannot do but for the most she can do alot.
      I can understand the weight gain........I did that WITHOUT surgery........just turning 40 alone did it for me!!!  But keep in mind muscle weighs more than fat....so..... you may not see so much weight loss on the scale but you will tell a difference in your body - toning.  Also...... to lose fat you still have to have more calories burned in a day than what’s going in.......through cardio and/or diet.  I’m still working on controlling that part......IT’s NOT EASY!!  You have to look at it as a lifestyle change.  I lost ten pounds and snuck rolls and potatoes back in my life (not to mention the snack size Mounds bars - my favorite candy bar - YUM!).........wasn’t a good choice.....I have to get back on the wagon!!!  But also......you have to be realistic and not deprive yourself everyday....for me there has to be a balance and learn to control the intake amount!  Good Luck!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Dec 26, 2008
    • I love the way exercise makes me feel. It does increase your metabolism and every woman is different. It is always best to check with your doctor before you start any exercise regimen.

       I do a variety of workouts from walking,to riding a  bike, to rowing machine, small trampoline and of course lifting weights, yes all at the house.

      [Link Removed]


      47ntiredorunnin, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Leadinladytracy wrote Dec 26, 2008
    • I love working out. I especially love the weight training!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Mlmcrow wrote Jan 13, 2009
    • This is exactly what I do!  I joined Curves here in Jacksonville FL. Its the best! I’ve lost 16-17 lbs since September by working out and my diet has changed.

      Strength training is the best!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kpg19 wrote Apr 1, 2009
    • Monnalisa,
      I would make sure your back is strong first. Abdominal exercises will actually strengthen your back. When you start your weight training program, lighter weights working up to more repetitions would be a good way for you to begin. Listen to your body. If your back starts to hurt, check your posture and or just stop that exercise for the time being :)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Apr 22, 2009
    • This is all so true...I have been power walking since my first abdominal surgery in 2003, then a second surgery in 2005, started aerobics in 2006 and joined a gym in early 2007..had yet another surgery this past Jan 2009 (all gynecology related)...I can’t stress enough about using the weights..I have fibromyalgia and it can be difficult at times, but I persevere...cardio, weights, ab exercises, lots of stretching, healthy organic diet and a good frame of mind!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      J Knapp wrote May 6, 2009
    • I lost 100 pounds total now and feel great. It was not until last January that for the I was blessed to have a trainer sponsor me in a pageant I was doing. We trained for 12 weeks. She helped me learn the proper weights to use and how to mix up my routine. Now my body is in better shape then it’s ever been in!! I still can’t believe I will be 42 and feel like I am 20!!  

      Weight lifting is the key and is so good for the body!!

      Jilly  happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deb Link wrote Sep 23, 2009
    • I used to be a fitness instructor and strength trainer.  I’ll be honest with you that I completely over-trained....aerobically.  I looked and felt the best when my focus was on strength training and stretching.  When I started teaching 15 aerobic classes a week my body started holding on for dear life and I actually had a higher body fat ratio.  Balance.....

      Sure miss being able to “work out“.  This fms stuff really puts a wrench in things.  This too I shall overcome...someday!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Sunshine25 wrote Oct 13, 2009
    • I agree with all your comments,the best thing I could have done was join Goodlife Fitness. Have been working out variety of ways, aerobic with weights classes, Zumba(amazing for hips, waist, all over body and so much fun), as well as using weight machines, and running at least 45 min to 1 hr. regularly and consistently. I recommend it to anyone, as I have found new strength, feel alert and energized and best of all having the most fun and being happy.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Accent09 wrote Apr 2, 2010
    • Zumba classes are a lot of fun and an excellent way to get your aerobics in without the boring stairmaster. But doing strenght training is even more important and I spend more time doing that on average.  

      Unfortunately I go on spurts and I would go to the gym for a few months and then just forget about it for a few months. My weight doesn’t fluctuate too much (within 5-7 lbs) but the way I look and feel does. Every time I go back to the gym my friends comment on how I lost weight but in reality I just toned up a bit.

      Strenght training is the way to go specially with us getting closer to the “brittle” age...

      Viola



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Texaschk wrote Apr 15, 2010
    • I agree! I started working with a personal trainer in Dec 2009 for several reasons-some emotional, some physical. I am 42 years old, 5‘2” and have never had issues with my weight. However, 2 years ago, I found out I had high blood pressure. In combination with medication and good diet habits, blood pressure is under control. Its April now and I look and feel better than I ever have. Legs, butt and arms are looking toned. I feel like I am in the prime of life!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bonita Lehmann-Busby wrote Jun 29, 2012
    • Get to the weight rack ladies.... lifting weights one of the 2 key things to get you to your goals.

      Diet is the other....

      Just saying form experience



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Twinssupermom wrote Mar 4, 2013
    • I did a challenge with Beachbody and was so impressed with shakeology that i am now doing another challenge.. You see the inches .. They want you to do before and after and it is amazing and you dont have to show them to anyone but yourself ... And they have dvd programs to awesome music by wonderful instructors that you can do in the privacy of your own home you just choose the one thats right for you.  I am now coaching myself it is so much fun... If you would like to do a 12 or 30 day challenge let me know or go to www.beachbodycoach.com/twinssupermom and see what you think.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Victoria Girard wrote Mar 4, 2013
    • My lifestyle actually leads to great exercise; chopping wood, stocking the wood stove, shoveling snow, and chipping ice.  Sometimes it’s not so enjoyable, but I always feel great when I’m done :)



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Twinssupermom wrote Mar 8, 2013
    • I have been working out on the nautilus equipment at the gym consistently and starting to see good tone results... it’s hard work but it does work.. and it makes you feel so good to see the benefits... lovin it...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Twincam wrote Mar 21, 2013
    • I am quite lazy and can’t be bothered to go to the gym, as it takes at least an hour to hour and half out of your day, and I don’t have the time. Three years ago,(then I was 38 size 12 UK), My husband had started exercising at home 4 times a week and after 3 months I noticed he’d lost allot of weight, so I started doing 15 minutes Cardio, 3 times a week. It took about 3 months, but I noticed a few changes, a year later none of my clothes fit,  so we went shopping and I bought a pair of Jeans and denim shorts size 10 (UK), the last time I had been in a size 10 was when I was 20. This year I started adding weights into my routine, I can see a few changes. I only do 20 minutes, 3 times a week, at home,It doesn’t cost me anything. I love the fact that now I’m 41, I’m fitter now compared to my 20’ & 30’s, and love it when people can’t believe my age. happy



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