Strength Training Combats the Effects of Aging


Much of what we have traditionally thought of as “aging” is actually related to physical inactivity and poor nutrition, according to Miriam Nelson, author of the “Strong Women” book series.In a talk titled “Strong Women Live Well: Foolproof Strategies for Effective Weight Control,” Nelson said her movement to have older women undergo strength training met with some resistance when she started in the 1980s.

“People thought of women in their 50s, 60s and 70s as ‘old’ and that strength training might do more harm than good. Now, women in their 80s and 90s are building muscle,” she told several hundred women who attended her talk here, which was sponsored by the Woman’s Center for Wellness. Regular exercise can enhance performance of daily living activities — even such simple things as climbing stairs or getting in and out of the bathtub, she said. It can also reduce risk factors for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression, obesity, osteoporosis, insomnia, cognitive impairment and premature death.

Women who are not active lose, on average, about a quarter pound of muscle mass each year after the age of 40, she said. However, evidence indicates that those who begin a strength training program, even just once or twice a week, will maintain and even build muscle mass. — To read the complete article, go to


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