One of the most important things we can do for ourselves, especially as we age, is strength training. Being active can add years to your life and life to your years.
Not only does strength training help you look better and maintain muscle to keep you strong, but it can also boost balance, flexibility and cognitive and emotional well-being, and reap health rewards.
“We can lose inches, pounds, and body fat percentage, but the other things are so much more important,” says Brenda Fletcher, from Curves Red Deer South, offering 30-minute circuit training for women. “We know that without strength training, our bodies lose muscle mass as we age.”
In response, Fletcher is hosting a Strength Training Festival, Sept. 4 to Oct. 19, to share the benefits of strength training within a community of life-minded women.
Knowing that committing to a fitness program is the first step, here’s Fletcher’s 3 go-to tips for success:
1. Time matters
Built around a circuit gym, Curves’ machines use your own resistance, engaging muscles in both directions and working various muscle groups at the same time for an efficient workout. That also means the workout adapts to all fitness levels, explains Fletcher, who speaks not only as the location owner since 2014, but as a member for 15 1/2 years. “It’s fun, fast and safe and after 30 minutes you’ve worked your whole body.”
2. Strength in community
A supportive community is key to long-lasting success.
“We are a community when we work out, so there’s the emotional support that comes from working out with other women in a non-competitive environment, unlike many conventional gyms,” Fletcher says, noting there are no mirrors and “comfy casual” is the dress of the day.
“The Strength Training Festival will show people that if they’re physically active in this kind of community, they’ll build self-confidence, and that’s so important – it affects how we walk, how we carry ourselves.”
The flexibility of the program makes it unique. “It’s safe for all women – our youngest member is 15 years old and our oldest is 85. It’s a place where daughters and mothers and grandmothers can all get a great workout.”
3. Know how to work it
Because knowledge is key to an enjoyable workout you’ll come back to, “we always start everyone off with five coached workouts. It’s really important to follow proper form – you’ll get better results,” Fletcher says. “This is not a self-serve gym. There’s always a coach in the centre of the circle. We’re passionate about what we do.”
Monthly coaching lets you chart your progress and set short-term goals that help set an intention to your efforts, whether it’s committing to attend three times a week or to drink more water.
Train and Save
Register early for the Strength Training Festival – the first 30 new members will join for free with annual membership, a $99 savings!
“Most of the time, when someone thinks she needs to accept her health situation as inevitable, I say, ‘Hell no!’” Fletcher says. “If people are unsure as to whether miracles happen, they should come work out with me.”