In this book author Miriam Nelson describes the benefits of strength training: "…strengthening exercise not only makes women stronger, but also builds bone, improves balance and flexibility, and increases energy." Nelson's original research was with postmenopausal, sedentary women who were at risk for muscle and bone loss. But she and her colleagues simultaneously began to study another group of women also at risk for muscle and bone loss: women who were losing weight. "When women diet, at least 25 to 30 percent of the weight they shed isn't fat, but water, muscle, bone, and other lean tissue." When dieting women in her study strength trained, they gained 1.4 pounds of lean tissue and lost 14.6 pounds of fat. Women in the diet-only portion of the study lost 2.8 pounds of lean tissue along with the fat, a significant difference. After her discussion of the scientific evidence favoring strength training, Nelson describes her program of strength training exercises and healthy eating enabling women to lose weight without losing bone or muscle. Nelson points out that it is never to late to start strength training. Research on nursing home residents aged 86 to 96 showed that they increased their strength by an average 175 percent in just eight weeks.
Miriam Nelson is a scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. She has been researching the health benefits of strength training for many years and has published this research in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Expanding on her research, she has developed three strength training programs for various health concerns and has described them in her three books:Strong Women Strong Bones, Strong Women Stay Young, and Strong Women Stay Slim.
Reviewed by mc, 3/01. Other reviews by mc.