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Strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk for fractures among women ages 50 to 70. - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

women’sFITNESS

STR E N GTH

Training for Women BY KATHERINE HEERBRANDT

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14 Gazette Health | Fall 2014

Marion Moss lost nearly 30 pounds after teaming up with Kevin Strong of Strong Results in Upper Marlboro, Md.

A GAZETTE AND GAZETTE-STAR PUBLICATION

PHOTO COURTESY OF KEVIN STRONG, STRONG RESULTS

earing 70 years old and worried about her health, Marion Moss of Mitchellville determined that it was time to get moving and get stronger. Two years and a 28-pound weight loss later, Moss said her cardiologist is happier and so is she, proving it’s never too late to get fit and change your lifestyle. Moss said she’s hated exercise since she was a child, but when she realized that at 5 feet, 4 inches she was nearly the same weight as her ex-husband, who is 6 feet tall, she knew it was time to do something about it. On the advice of a friend, she found Kevin Strong and Strong Results in Upper Marlboro. “He makes it fun, and it’s always something different,” Moss said. “I am surprised I can keep up, but I can.” In addition to her weight loss, Moss said she has more stamina, is much more flexible and has increased muscle tone. Now, she has the strength, she said, to get up from the floor without pushing up with her hands. Strong Results is for women only, and most of its clients are in their 40s and 50s. Strong’s program combines cardiovascular exercise with a variety of strengthening and toning activities. Strength training doesn’t have to be about complicated machinery or hoisting dumbbells over your head like the sweaty jocks at the gym. Building lean muscle mass through a variety of activities, from kickboxing to resistance training to free weights, helps women kick their metabolism into high gear, improve mobility, and boost confidence and overall health, Strong said. That’s one of the messages Strong wants to share with women looking to get fit. “One of the things we focus on is toning without bulking,” he said. “It’s not the machines, it’s

the way the machines are being used. Too much weight and too few repetitions.” In addition to free weights, Strong Results incorporates medicine balls and TRX suspension training, adjustable straps mounted from the ceiling that rely on the user’s body weight as a resistance training. A fitness enthusiast for 30 years, Strong has been in the business for 20. He’s worked at gyms selling memberships, and as a personal trainer. When it came time to open Strong Results eight years ago, he knew that he wanted to focus on women and developed a program and environment that would be supportive, motivating and goal-oriented. Women should not have to be intimidated by equipment they don’t know how to use, or men harassing them, he said. Hilda Hudson, 47, of Bowie, had a gym membership, but didn’t use it. She finally met her fitness goals and is challenging herself even more after joining Strong Results just over a year ago. Hudson, who dropped 39 pounds and is preparing to run a half-marathon, said the feeling of community at Strong Results made the difference. “What got me going was seeing posters of people who have met their fitness goals. I actually knew some of them. They are real people,” Hudson said. What kept her going was the encouragement from other members and the varying workouts. When she began, she said she was thrilled to be able to do one or two pushups. Today, she can do 25 or more. Developing strength in core muscles, Hudson said, helps not only with muscle definition, but stronger bones, balance and posture. Building a stable core is key, according to long-time personal trainer Octavia Henderson. Henderson, based in Clinton, serves clients within 30 miles, including Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. A mobile trainer for 10 years, Henderson has a degree in exer-


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