by Miriam E. Nelson
"Strong Women Stay Young" by Miriam Nelson provides all the rationale you need to start a strength training routine - regardless of your age. The author makes a compelling argument for weight training based upon studies conducted on women over the age of 40 who gained strength, flexibility, and improved bone density with their basic program. Nelson provides numerous examples of how inactivity and a lack of strength training contribute to the aging process as bones weaken, energy declines, and we begin to lose our flexibility and our strength. She addresses common excuses for not exercising or training with weights - from "I'm too busy" to "It's too expensive" and gives a wealth of motivational guidelines, especially by including comments from her study participants throughout the book. The basic program is very basic - a handful of simple strength training exercises to work your main muscle groups. But the program is supposed to be elementary in order to introduce strength training to beginners. She also provides tables where you can record your progress and schedule in your bi-weekly workouts. The research seems solid and convincing and the data is clearly presented. I bought the book for my mom, who is in her sixties, in hopes of getting her started on the program. For anyone familiar with the benefits of strength training, the information may not be new although you may be surprised at the wonderful results and experiences of the participants - quite a few of which are 80 and over! But for providing a much-needed argument for adding strength training into your routine, the book seems right on target.