Aging, Fitness, Spa

A Woman with Muscle Reaps Rewards

The muscular system is one of the most dynamic, responsive systems in one’s body. Our muscles form thousands of elastic fibers bundled tightly together, and when tension is initiated in the form of movement, we invite our muscles to take part. This can take place through weights, bands, body weight or spring resistance such as on a Pilates reformer.

When performing these exercises, muscles give us gifts far beyond a nicely toned body.  Studies have shown that women who incorporate weight training into their routine have an increased number of capillaries feeding their muscles and can reap significant rewards – even with a small amount of weekly exercise.

A recent study published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology found that women who engage in weight training two to three times a week are more likely to live longer. Of 400,000 women in the study, 1 in 5 participated in weight training and saw a 30% reduction in their cardiovascular mortality. (1)

Most often, women will turn to cardio and bypass the resistance training. When they talk about starting a strength training program, a common concern is the fear of getting too big. A moderate weight program produces enhanced bodily proportion and an external look of strength and beauty.

I have engaged in exercise options my entire life, as if they were smorgasbord offerings.  However, when I consider all my exercise choices, weight training has reigned supreme.

It is helpful to think of exercise similar to the daily cultivation of money for spending and saving. Cardio is the daily energy we need to expend to have healthy circulation, lung ability and every day health. We work daily to make money, and this is analogous to cardio expenditure. A strength program is the investment made for a long-term longevity plan. This is like investing our money and using wise saving options.

As one starts to follow a strength training investment plan, the following points are important to remember:

Joints crave muscles. Our joints crave strong muscles for proper support. If muscles are underdeveloped and not working as they should for proper movement, there is increased atrophy and an overload put on joints. After 30 years of age, there is a decline in muscle signaling us to do our part to initiate a strength program, and 45% of older adults in the U.S. suffer the effects of increased muscle loss.

Bones crave muscles. Our bones are dynamic tissue and respond to the weight and structure of our body. When muscles become stronger, bones adapt and strengthen. Muscle mass is a predictor of longevity. Falls in older age are a top cause of death, therefore muscular health is paramount to support healthy bones – and longevity.

Strong body, strong mind. One of the residual effects, aside from physical strength, is the gift of mental health and confidence. When the body is strong, the mind is strong, thereby building confidence and assurance in witnessing one’s proof of physical strength. Resistance training requires and enhances concentration which strengthens our abilities in other tasks, such as achieving our goals or staying disciplined and committed.

A strong woman in body and mind is unmatched. The research yields positive information for women who partake in strength exercises. Remember, a woman with muscle reaps rewards.

Jennifer Di Francesco is a wellness explorer and desert adventurist and can be reached at

References: 1);





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