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Secret To A


Toned Body

Lynn Smith ie Schroeder RN, BSN
Professional Health Coach


Every decade of our adult life we will lose approximately 7 to 8 pound of muscle unless we are proactive in maintaining or building our muscle mass.  Often as women get older they wonder why they are gaining weight when they aren’t eating more food.  This loss of muscle mass is one reason for this weight gain.

 A pound of muscle burns 35 to 50 calories, where a pound of fat burns only 2 calories.  If you are losing 7 to 8 pounds of muscle every decade, yet consuming the same amount of calories, you will gain weight.  The good news is that through strength training exercises you can maintain or even build muscle as you age.  Strength training is the secret to creating a slender toned body.

 Many women worry that they will get bulky or look like a man if they do strength training.  No worries, it is the testosterone in men that help them bulk up.  Women will get lean and toned, not bulky from strength training.

 Strength training has many benefits and is an essential component to a well rounded fitness program.  Strength training will increase your metabolism so you burn more calories even at rest, increase and restore bone density, reduce risk of injury, and make you feel and look younger.


A well rounded fitness program includes strength training 2 to 3 times per week, cardiovascular exercises 3 to 5 times per week, and flexibility (stretching after warm-up) with every workout.  Many women say they don’t have time for this much exercise, but when you break it down.  It only takes 30 to 60 minutes about 5 days per week.  The benefits to exercise far outweigh this small amount of time to get healthy and fit.

 The key to a successful fitness program is to start slowly.  Of course, when making any health changes check with your medical professional to make sure it is safe for you to exercise.  If they give you the green light to exercise then create a vision for what you want to accomplish as a result of your fitness program. 

 When creating this vision, be as specific as possible.  Really see yourself as being that slender toned woman.  Acting as if you are that slender toned woman will make it easier to make choices that support that vision to being a reality.  Then take small baby steps to move you towards this vision of a healthy, fit and vibrant woman.

The mistake many women make is to make too many changes too quickly and then injure themselves or burn out before they see any results.  Decide on what you want and then start with something simple like a short walk and a few stretches once your muscles are warmed up after your walk.  Then you can gradually add in some strength training exercises like modified push-ups, jumping jacks, squats, chair dips or bicep curls with light weight. 

 Have fun discovering different types of physical activities that you would enjoy such as dancing, cycling, roller blading, swimming, water aerobics, jump rope, walking, playing a sport etc.  It is important to have a variety of activities that you will enjoy and look forward to incorporating in your lifestyle.

 Once your body starts to experience the benefit of physical activity it is easier to keep motivated to continue.  If you have never done strength training exercises before, you may want to hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to teach you some simple strength training exercises to make sure you are performing the exercise correctly to prevent any injury.



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