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Strong Women Stay Young

Revised Edition

Written by Miriam NelsonAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Miriam Nelson
Contribution by Sarah Wernick, Ph.D.Author Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Sarah Wernick, Ph.D.

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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Turn back the clock in just two at-home sessions per week!

Based on results published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, this scientifically proven strength-training program:

* Replaces fat with muscle
* Reverses bone loss
* Improves energy and balance

What are the years doing to your body?

* Have you lost strength?
* Does a busy day leave you worn out?
* Must you eat less to maintain your weight?
* Are your favorite sports less fun than they used to be?
* Do you notice fat where there used to be muscle?

These changes are not inevitable.  They can be prevented—and reversed!

From the famed research labs of Tufts University, here's a scientifically proven strength-training program that turns back the clock for women aged 35 and up—replacing fat with muscle, reversing bone loss, increasing strength and energy, improving balance and flexibility—all in just two at-home sessions per
week.

Miriam E. Nelson's research created news worldwide when the results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. After a year of strength training twice a week, women's bodies were 15 to 20 years more youthful. Without drugs, they regained bone, helping to prevent osteoporosis. They became stronger—in most cases even stronger than when they were young. Their balance and flexibility improved. They were leaner and trimmer, without changing what they ate. What's more, the women were so energized, they became 27 percent more active. No other program—whether diet, medication, or aerobic exercise—has ever achieved comparable results.

Strong Women Stay Young shows women how to get the same remarkable benefits at home or in the office, working out just twice a week. Individualized instructions get couch potatoes started—and help exercise buffs break through plateaus. Significant improvements are seen after just four weeks. This major new book features:

* Eight simple, safe exercises done standing or seated—no sweat, no special clothes
* Fully illustrated step-by-step instructions that any woman can customize to her needs
* Important new information on muscle, bone, balance, and fitness—explaining why this program works
* Progress logs for the critical first 12 weeks
* Bonus: complete strength-training program to do at the gym

This scientifically tested program is proven safe and effective for beginning, intermediate, and advanced exercisers. All it takes is two short sessions a week to improve how you feel, what you can do, and how you look—for the rest of your life!

Excerpt

Maida Lois used to stop her mother, also named Maida, when she started  to lift something heavy. "Let me carry that," she'd say; "After all, I'm younger." Maida Lois is 39 and she runs five miles five days a week. The older Maida is 66 and until she began strength training, she had never been physically active.

Recently the two Maidas took a series of tests to compare their strength. Maida Lois didn't hold back. "I got competitive," she admits; "I tried hard."

It didn't help:  Maida outscored her daughter on three of the four tests. These days, she does her own lifting. "After all," she tells Maida Lois, "I'm stronger."

* * * * *

In high school, Evelyn wore a size 16. At age 30, she had her first  child and her weight climbed to over 200 pounds. Then she came to work at Tufts University. "I started doing aerobics and got down to 160 pounds. I was thinner, but complete flab," she recalls. What's more, her weight loss stalled. Inspired by her colleagues' research--and the success stories all around her--Evelyn started strength training, and dropped the last 30 pounds.

Now 38 and the mother of two, Evelyn recently attended her twentieth high school reunion. She recalls a thrilling evening: "Some of my girlfriends never got back in shape after having kids--and there I was in a slinky black  evening dress, size 6."

* * * * *

Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., author of Strong Women Stay Young, is one of the Tufts University scientists who developed this remarkably successful exercise program. Her research created news worldwide when the results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Nelson's study followed 40 postmenopausal women for a year. All were healthy, but sedentary; none was taking hormones. Half the volunteers--the control group--simply maintained their usual lifestyle. The others came to the Tufts University laboratories twice a week and lifted weights.

Most women begin to lose bone and muscle mass at about age 40; in part  because of this, they start to slow down. And that's exactly what happened to the women who didn't exercise. One sedentary year later, their muscles and bones had aged, and they were even less active than before.

The women who lifted weights changed too--but in the opposite direction.  After one year of strength training, their bodies were 15 to 20 years more youthful.

*   They became stronger--often even stronger than when they were younger.
*   Without drugs, they regained bone, helping to prevent osteoporosis.
*   Their balance and flexibility improved.
*   They were leaner and trimmer, though eating as much as ever.
*   The women were so energized, they became 27 percent more active.

No other program has ever achieved comparable results.

What strength training can do for you:

A challenging, progressive strength-training program can build muscles and increase strength in women of all ages. But Miriam Nelson's study proved  that the benefits go even further. Besides the great gains in strength, here's  what strength training does:

*   Halts bone loss--and even restores bone
Each year after menopause, a woman typically loses one percent of her bone mass--even more during the first five post-menopausal years. Over time, she may develop osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become so porous they easily break. Strength training stopped the clock here too. The women who didn't exercise lost about 2 percent of their bone density over the year of the study. But the women who strength-trained not only didn't lose bone, they gained 1 percent.

*   Improves balance
Our ability to stay in balance declines with passing years. As a result, falling becomes a significant hazard later in life, especially if bones are weak. The women who didn't exercise showed an 8.5 percent decline in balance over the study period. In contrast, the women in the strength-training group improved their balancing ability--their test scores went up by 14 percent.

*   Helps prevent bone fractures from osteoporosis
The improvements in strength, bone density and balance have special significance for women because they dramatically reduce the risk of fractures from osteoporosis. This is a serious problem: a woman of seventy faces 30 percent odds that she will break her hip if she lives another twenty years.

Hormones, calcium supplements and medications offer a degree of protection from bone loss. However, strength training not only builds bone, it cuts the risk of fractures by improving strength and balance to help prevent falls. What's  more, all these benefits come without worrisome side effects.

*   Trims and tightens
Participants in the JAMA study were asked to maintain their weight over the year. Though the scale didn't change, their appearance did. Instead of dropping pounds, the women who exercised lost inches.

*   Helps control weight
Strength training is a dieter's best friend. First, it promotes aerobic activity, which burns calories. Second, it boosts metabolism. That's because muscle is active tissue and consumes calories; stored fat, on the other hand, is inert and uses very little energy.

*   Energizes and revitalizes
After a year, the non-exercise group became 25 percent less active. But the women in the strength-training program were 27 percent more active than before. It makes sense: The stronger you are, the easier it is to move.

The most exciting part of this study was something harder to measure: the transformation of the volunteers. They didn't expect their bodies could change much, not at their age. But after just a few months they were stronger, trimmer and more energetic than they ever dreamed they could be again--and they were thrilled.  Who wouldn't be?

Features of this book

Strong Women Stay Young is based on a scientifically-tested exercise program developed at Tufts University, so you can rely upon its safety and effectiveness. The book will be helpful even if you've done strength  training before. Unless you received accurate information, you may not be getting the full benefit you deserve for your efforts. For instance, many women, misled by popular advice, faithfully lift soup cans in hope of improving their muscles. Or they work out with three-pound weights week after week in a "Tone and  Firm" class. Sadly, these approaches don't make you stronger. Weights must be considerably heavier than soup cans to make a difference. And if you don't systematically increase the load as your muscles develop, you won't progress very far.

Before you begin, you'll answer a few simple strength-assessment questions to determine a safe starting point. As you grow stronger, you'll add weights.  No matter how fit you are now, no matter how quickly or slowly you progress, the program will always be right for you.

The Strong Women Stay Young program features:

*   Eight simple exercises done standing or sitting down--no sweat, no special clothes.
*   Fully illustrated step-by-step instructions that you can customize to  your needs.
*   Important new information on muscle, bone, balance, and fitness.
*   Progress logs for the critical first twelve weeks.
*   Bonus:  complete strength-training program to do at the gym.

Is this book for you?

*   Have you lost strength over the past decade?
*   Do you ever say, "I know I should exercise, but I just don't have the energy"?
*   At the end of a normally busy day, do you feel tired and worn out?
*   Do you notice fat where there used to be muscle?
*   Do you feel older than you'd like?
*   Is it more difficult to maintain your weight--even though you're eating less?
*   Are your favorite sports harder and less fun than they used to be?
*   Do you look at your older female relatives and worry that someday you'll be just as limited physically as they are now?

For many women past 35, these changes--the loss of strength, the lack of vigor--are painfully familiar. If you're experiencing them, you may have figured it's all an inevitable part of getting older. Wrong!  Scientists at Tufts and elsewhere now know this isn't true. The main reason most people slow down when they get older is that they lose about a third of their muscle mass between ages 35 and 80. Yes, aging plays a role. However, inactivity is a major factor--and that's something you can address.

If you've lost strength, you can regain it.
If your energy has sagged, you can raise it.
If you've lost muscle and gained fat, you can reverse it.
If you've become flabby, you can get trim.
If you feel old, you can feel younger, stronger and more vigorous--perhaps better than you've ever felt in your entire life.

Strength training, we have learned, is a fountain of youth.


From the Hardcover edition.
Miriam Nelson

About Miriam Nelson

Miriam Nelson - Strong Women Stay Young
Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., is Chief of the Human Physiology Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Sarah Wernick, Ph.D., is an award-winning health writer.
Praise

Praise

"This terrific book, which has changed the lives of so many women, is now even better."
--Robert N. Butler, M.D., International Longevity Center, USA, Ltd.

"You can begin to get strong even if you wait until you are 90--and without taking hormones! Strong Women Stay Young is an inspiring and motivational program."
--Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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