My mom was never much for “workouts” when I was growing up.  She was too busy taking care of me and my sister and doing a lot of housework and gardening.

That kept her active.

But now that she’s retired, she’s discovering the need for structured exercise sessions. While it’s great to see her biking and walking on her treadmill in the winter months, I’m even more proud to see her doing resistance training at the gym.

Most women don’t think too much of resistance training, but I believe it’s far more important than cardiovascular exercise. After all, if you don’t have your strength, you won’t be able to do much as you grow older. Resistance training also helps you keep your muscles and strength when you diet.

Researchers from Purdue University put 16 women (average age 68) through a 16-week study where they ate 500 calories fewer than needed to maintain their weight. Half the women did three days of resistance training per week, and the other half did not exercise. Both groups lost an average of more than 11 pounds during the 16 weeks, but only the resistance training group maintained their muscle mass.

It is essential for women to maintain muscle mass with age, and only resistance training can do that. So start a simple total-body workout program that you can do in just 20 minutes, three times per week, and you’ll get stronger, lose fat, and sculpt your muscles.

[Ed. Note: As fitness expert Craig Ballantyne points out, you don’t need to do hard-core exercise every day to see real results. Learn how you can get fit with three 45-minute workouts a week with Craig’s Turbulence Training program right here.]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at

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