StrongWomen participants in Emporium.
“When I joined StrongWomen, ™ I could not lift a gallon of milk, now I can do my own shopping!”
“The classes are great motivation to exercise, even on days when I don’t feel like it.”
“StrongWomen ™ is the best thing I’ve ever done for my health. I feel confident that I will be able to remain independent for years to come.”
These are just a few of the hundreds of positive comments that we hear from StrongWomen ™ participants across the state of Pennsylvania.
The StrongWomen™/Growing Stronger program offered through Penn State Extension is an evidence-based strength training and nutrition education program for women and men ages 40 an older. Designed to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other chronic disease, improve bone density and muscle mass, Strong Women™ also ncreases flexibility and balance. The 6 – 12 week program, which meets twice a week, includes a series of nutrition lessons and strength training, and balance and flexibility exercises, using hand and ankle weights.
Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength, is a major problem as people age, and sometimes leads to disability, osteoporosis, falls, hospital stays, and even death. By their mid-forties, women begin to lose one-quarter to one-third pound of muscle mass with each passing year. Two major preventable factors contributing to sarcopenia are lack of exercise and poor nutrition. StrongWomen ™ helps to prevent this muscle loss.
StrongWomen ™ also addresses bone loss. Participants with osteopenia (bone weakness) or osteoporosis have shown to have maintained or improved their bone density scores after participating in the program.
The StrongWomen™ Program was developed by Miriam Nelson, PhD of Tufts University. The program is based upon years of research on how strength training and proper nutrition improve the health of individuals of all ages. “Strength is a critical factor in living healthier, more active lives. Our research shows that a program of strength training not only improves bone density but reduces falls, improves arthritis symptoms, and increases flexibility and strength,” states Dr. Nelson. The program is appropriate for both the sedentary and very active.
As part of the program, participants complete pre and post fitness assessments. Results from participants show an increase in strength and stamina across all fitness areas. Participants report significant improvement in their general health, along with increased intake of fruits, vegetables, fiber, whole grains, calcium and vitamin D. They increase upper and lower body strength and, consistently, over 85% of participants report moderate or considerable improvement in balance, flexibility and ability to perform daily activities.
There were close to 90 StrongWomen ™/Growing Stronger class series offered in PA last year.
Please contact your local Penn State Extension office to find out about StrongWomen ™ classes near you. Find your local Extension office contact information at the County extension Map webpage