Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Strong Women Stay Young Programme

A while back when we were discussing how to keep fit, a friend asked if I had heard of the book 'Strong Women Stay Young' and as I hadn't she lent me her copy. It is a very interesting book about the benefits of strength training.

The author, Miriam E.Nelson, PhD. was one of the scientists who developed exercise programmes (my spell check doesn't like how I spell 'programmes' but that is the way we learnt to spell it at school) which proved to be extremely successful. She explains her part in the research about whether strength training would be beneficial in post menopausal women. Forty women were recruited who were sedentary but healthy and half were asked to just maintain their normal lifestyle for 12 months. This was the control group.

The other half was asked to come to the laboratory twice a week to lift weights. As most women when they reach the age of forty or so start to lose muscle and bone mass and start to slow down, they were not surprised twelve months down the track to find that the women in the control group were even less active than they had been before and that their bones and muscles had aged as well.

Imagine the astonishment on the part of the researchers to find that the women who did strength training were fifteen to twenty years more youthful! There had been small but significant gains in bone density and their scores on strength tests were more matched to those in their late thirties or early forties. They were also more confident, energetic and happier.

In the book the author goes into great detail about the programme and then explains how to do the exercises involved.


 I bought some ankle weights from my friend and you can insert weights into the pockets on the weights according to your level of fitness.

All the exercises are easy to do and you can even find yourself a 'virtual trainer' here . There are three categories and you can choose which programme suits you the best: Strong Bones, Stay Slim or Vibrant Ageing.

There is also some interesting reading on the site in the Feature Articles section including one on Mothers and Daughters Exercising Together. I am sure we all know someone with Fibromyalgia and there is an article which might be helpful for suffers called Exercise is an Effective Treatment for Fibromyalgia. 

Some of my readers might be interested in this strength training programme so I thought I would share the info about it with you in case you hadn't heard of it. The book, Strong Women Stay Young, is readily available on ebay, Fishpond, Book Depository and you may be able to pick one up in your local bookstore or borrow a copy from your library. You can calculate how healthy you are by clicking on the links in my post How Fit and Healthy are YOU?

Readers from the US may have benefit of being able to attend  a Change Club in their area and hopefully they will eventually spring up around Australia and in other countries as well. Until then though, the programme in the book and the online info is easy to understand so all we need now is motivation. Agree?


  1. Thanks Chel for pricking my conscience and reminding me to get out on the deck and use some weights. Hubby went mad (for a month) and bought a full gym last year and since it now dominates the pergola space (nope, no gyms in Tuscan courtyards that i can see) i may as well use it. Now that my elbow is feeling good (yes, ill go slow) i can recover what ive lost in the last few months. I like being a strong woman because i am independent and like to do things for myself. It looks like a great book and its certainly a timely reminder post. Cheers!

    1. Lynda, you are lucky your gym is in the pergola. My son bought weights and one of those exerciser seats and they are in the lounge room!!! They wouldn't fit in his room or anywhere else. He hardly uses them anymore and I can hardly lift them to clean under. LOL! I can manage the 1kg weights though :-)

  2. thank you for this post Nanna Chel, i gave up work in May and im finding already that im putting on weight. my last job was very energetic and fast paced and now i feel like a snail. ill head up to the library this week and see if they have it.

    1. Nicole it is certainly an interesting book. You can get a lot of info from the Strongwomen site http://www.strongwomen.com/strongwomen-programs/program-description/ as well if the library doesn't have the book. There are exercises on there that you can start off with.

  3. Nanna Chel, thanks so much for sharing this information. I was listening to ABC radio last night and they were also talking about this subject. I have certainly noticed a decline in my strength over the last few years so I had better look out for this book and do something. My SIL is an ME sufferer so she might also benefit. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts as you progress through the "programme". Barb.

  4. Barb, apparently strength training also helps with balance which is the main reason I bought my own copy of the book after reading my friend's book. I have shocking balance now that I am getting older and I would like to stop it getting any worse if I possibly can because I have already had a couple of falls. Yes, it might help your SIL if her doctor is happy about her starting the programme.

  5. Chel, I do the chair stand exercise at work when I start feeling that afternoon slump, much better than a sugar fix. Will look for this book.


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