Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.Full Bio
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Strength training gets so much more important as we age because we lose muscle. It starts in our late 30s or early 40s; after age 40 the average woman starts losing about ½ pound of muscle per year, even more if she does not actively use her muscles. And if you don't replace the muscle you lose, you'll increase the body fat percentage in your body. As you gain muscle, your body burns calories more efficiently.
Strength is not just about being strong enough to lift groceries and open heavy doors—it's about health. Loss of muscle mass affects balance, coordination and the ability to do simple things like get up out of a chair and even open a jar. Strength training can increase your bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It helps strengthen your heart and control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Some research points out that regular strength training even sharpens your focus and memory.
This matters. We're all getting older and with that comes taking responsibility for our health. I look at it this way: there is a choice. Yes, choosing to stay strong takes some work, but the payoffs are huge. It's absolutely possible to stem the loss that comes with age by both building and preserving your muscles.
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