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Pumping Iron - The Secret to Weight Control for Women

Jun 26, 2008
We have pictured for years that as a woman grows older, she gets to slow down and enjoy grandkids on her lap on the front porch. We think of cookies and milk, reading fairy tales and catching butterflies with the grandkids.

But here's news: reaching middle age doesn't mean you get to retire to the porch rocking chair! Since your metabolism slows as you get older, it's more important than ever to stay active to keep from gaining weight.

It isn't uncommon to experience a buildup of belly fat as you age, but there's a powerful weapon to help you combat middle-age spread: weight lifting. A National Institutes of Health study found that women who pumped iron twice a week prevented or slowed unhealthy fat accumulation around the midsection, which has been linked to heart disease and other ailments. This is true whether you use machines or use free weights.

But there are more benefits. Weight lifting, or strength training, can also help you:

- Relieve arthritis
- Strengthen your bones
- Improve your balance and reduce falls
- Control your blood sugar
- Maintain an overall healthy weight
- Improve your sleep
- Boost your self-esteem
- Increase your aerobic capacity

Strength training can be done by most anyone at any age. You should talk with your doctor first, and let he/she recommend an exercise program suited to your abilities. When combined with regular aerobic exercise, weight lifting can be just what the doctor ordered.

Try combining weight lifting with these surefire ways to kick-start your metabolism and keep off the pounds.

1. Get enough sleep. When you don't sleep well, your body craves energy and releases glucose into the bloodstream, which slows your metabolism and contributes to weight gain. But getting enough sleep (about eight hours) can keep your metabolism on track.

2. Eat breakfast and small meals. Breakfast fuels you for the rest of your day. Skipping meals can cause you to eat more high-calorie high-fat foods at your next meal. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can boost metabolism.

3. Go aerobic. Engaging in activity that raises your heart rate for at least 60 minutes on most days can help you control weight and boost metabolism. Walking, jogging, cycling and swimming are good aerobic activities.

While you may not be destined for the rocker, in the long run you'll feel much more energetic and alert by keeping the exercise level up on a regular basis. Dodge ball, anyone?
About the Author
Sandy Loehle is VP of Loehle Aircraft Corp., manufacturer of warbird aircraft kits that also offers a "wet-look" aircraft paint line. Webmaster of http://www.loehle.com and http://www.healthywealthytoday.com , she seeks out credible internet marketing and healthy living studies.
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