By Myra R. Taylor
Are you getting your legs in fine running form but neglecting the rest of your body? I was. Big time. At this year’s Disney World Princess 10k/Half Marathon Expo, there was a booth advertising – “Get a Free Body Composition Assessment!” Down to a size 8, I was looking good and feeling even better! I confidently sashayed onto their machine, certain that with my weeks of training for the race, I was going to blow this assessment out of the water. Boy, was I WRONG! The evaluator told me I had the body composition of a 70-year old, and my body fat was over 30% which put me in the high risk category for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. What tha'…?! How could this be?! Reproachfully, she said, “You don’t do any weight training.” I don’t know how in the heck her machine came up with that conclusion, but it was absolutely right. In fact, that very day, I had struggled—and I do mean struggled—to open a small bag of chips. The truth was – I avoided weights like I owed it money. The two times I tried weight training, I had gotten bicep tendonitis. I didn’t even know you could get tendonitis in your biceps! You can, and it’s painful and can take weeks to heal.
So is weight training really worth it? According to Active.com, this exercise not only makes you stronger but can decrease injury risk, help you manage your weight, and improve bone density. Plus lean muscle mass you earn while running turns to fat as you age if you DON’T do strength training. Yikes! So how was I supposed to jazz up this 70-year old body back to my 30s without hurting myself? I did some research and discovered something surprising. Everyone knows you have to stretch before running, but did you know you should also stretch your arms before lifting weights? Youtube.com has some useful videos that show arm stretches. I’m going to weight training classes regularly now and have had no pain. Yay! What good is it to have fine, sexy legs if your arms are weak as wet noodles? So, BGR Ladies, be sure to incorporate weights into your fitness regimen. After a few more classes, I’m looking forward to round two with that bag of chips!
Myra “Meemee” Taylor is a proud member of the BGR-Los Angeles Chapter. Check out her humorous blog, www.cheapskate-a-holic.com, for tips on saving money and her short story “Lavender Sheets” in the sci-fi anthology The Memory Eater available on Amazon.com.
Photo credit: LyndaSanchez / Flickr