Blog: FITGirl Training

Weight Training for Women

Weight Training for Women, by IDEA Health and Fitness Association.

According to studies completed on women by Wayne Westcott, PhD from South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA, there are "Ten Important Reasons Why Weight Training for Women Needs to Be Taken Seriously."

1) To help you lose more fat than you'll gain in muscle. Women have 10 to 30 times less hormones that cause bulking up than men.

2) Weight training will help your new muscle fight obesity. As women add muscle through weight training, resting metabolism increases and you'll burn more calories throughout the day. For each pound of muscle gained, 35 to 50 more calories will be burned each day!

3) Make your body stronger. In addition to making daily activities, such as carrying groceries, car seats, and carts easier, a moderate weight training program increases a woman's strength by 30 to 50 percent.

4) Stronger bones. Weight bearing exercises strengthen our bones. Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months.

5) Reduce risk of diabetes. Weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in four months.

6) Fight heart disease. Together with cardiovascular and flexibility training, weight training will improve cholesterol and  blood pressure.

7) Beat back pain and fight arthritis. Strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Strength training can ease arthritis pain and strengthen joints.

8) Be a better athlete.

9) Strength gains are possible at any age. Westcott has successfully trained numerous women in their 70s and 80s, and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age. Note, however, that a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.

10) Improve your mental health. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their training program.

The nuts and bolts of the article is outlined above. (For a complete synopsis, I highly recommend reading the article in its entirety by selecting the hyper link.) While, I believe, many of the ideas are common knowledge, I found the long-term statistics staggering relating to how many extra calories can be burned, overall strength gains, and improved bone density.

A really important point this article makes for older active adults is to seek guidance to reduce the risk of injury. Many of our "Baby Boomers" are experiencing injuries while using machines and weights at the gym than ever before. I believe the main difference is that special precautions are not always taken as the body changes with age. Trust me, it's already happening to those of us encroaching on our 40's! In addition, flexibility becomes more important as we age to keep our muscles and joints moving comfortably.

What do you find most interesting . . . is there anything that you disagree with . . . please share your ideas.

Good Mood

The sun is shining in Minnesota today, which has a positive impact on my outlook for the day! Remember, even a 20 to 40 minute walk counts as a workout - Enjoy your day :)

You're only one workout away from a good mood.

Daily Mantra

Wishing you a fabulous heart-healthy day!

Eat, Move, Hydrate, Sleep, Love, Life.

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

Just made this recipe last week for my family of picky-eaters and there weren't any leftovers! (It's my opinion that this recipe has a lot of sodium, but it wasn't an issue for us. You may want to take a look at the sodium content if using pre-made bread crumbs.)

2 T. Olive oil
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 C. Dry bread crumbs
2/3 C. Grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp. Ground black pepper
6 Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C.) Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. (I use a little olive oil.)

In a bowl, blend the olive oil and garlic. In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the oil mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture. (2 pie dishes work great for the dipping.) Arrange the coated chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish, and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.

Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.


Nutrition Information

6 Servings per recipe.

Per Serving:
Calories: 281
Total Fat: 10.8g
Cholesterol: 75 mg
Sodium: 326 mg
Total Carbs: 13.7g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9g
Protein: 30.4g

Cajun Grilled Salmon

One of my favorite heart healthy meals!

2 Salmon fillets
1 T. Cajun seasoning (see below)
1 T. Olive Oil
2 12x12 Sheets of aluminum foil

Preheat grill to medium or medium high heat. (Works great in the oven, too!)

In a small bowl, mix together Cajun seasoning and olive oil, set aside.

Place single Salmon fillet on each sheet of foil.

Add 1 T. Cajun paste on each fillet; both sides.

Bring both sides of foil together and double fold the top and sides to form a pouch.

Grill for 12 to 15 minutes or until fully cooked. (Oven temperatures vary, but I've baked this in a 400 degree oven; check after 10 minutes.)

Salmon is delicious with any side dish, but I prefer it with roasted veggies.

Cajun Seasoning

1 T. Garlic powder
1 T. Onion powder
2 tsp. White pepper
2 tsp. Ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. Ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp. Dried thyme
1/2 tsp. Dried oregano
Salt is optional.

Be Inspired!

There's nothing better than feeling inspired by someone or something around you. My clients inspire me to be the best I can be every day. I love celebrating their personal successes! Most women don't aspire to look like She-Ra, but rather to look and feel healthy. This is what inspired me today! Have you been inspired??

You are powerful beyond belief to change the way you look, think, and feel.
Please share your thoughts. Thanks for visiting :D



Body Dysmorphic Disorder "BDD"

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Suicide, by Ryan Halvorson at IDEA Fitness Journal.

This article sparked my interest because I had not previously heard of the psychiatric disorder ("BDD"). Based on a study completed by the American Journal of Psychiatry (2006; 163, 1280–82), BDD " . . . causes individuals to become obsessed with their appearance and to develop a distorted self-image." While reading the article, I was wondering whether this definition could apply to most American women?

The study included a 2-4 year interview with individuals that were over 12 years of age, able to be interviewed in person, and did NOT have an organic mental disorder. There were 185 participants total. 52 percent of study participants were self-referred and 48 percent were referred by professionals. According to AJP's study, BDD has "high rates of suicide ideation and attempts." (2 participants died during the study; both were men.)

After reading the study, I questioned whether BDD is truly a mental health disorder or consequence of our society and media. Evidently, BDD can be caused by mental and physical abuse occurring either during adolescence or early adulthood. For some people, BDD lasted for 16 years. It was unclear whether thoughts of distorted body image disappeared or ideas of suicide and attempts went away.

Because I have a young daughter, this study hits home for me. For some reason, it was NOT surprising to learn the mean age of participants was 33 years. Out of 185 people involved in the study, 126 were women, 138 were unmarried, and 157 were white. By comparison, only 13 participants in the study were Hispanic. What does this say about the societies in which we live?

I'm also curious whether readers previously heard of BDD? Please share your thoughts. Thanks for reading.

It's Just a Number

Liberate yourself from the number on the scale - it means nothing! Just keep moving, moving, moving!!

The number on this scale will not tell you ... how fabulous you are!!

Image from




I love this message, but recognize the difficulty for women is often finding balance between not starving, over-eating, and eating healthfully. Diet and exercise work together, but carrying it out for the long-term is the key to getting where you want to be in life.

Embracing the idea of "all things in moderation" becomes a more comfortable mantra than feeling so hungry that you want to rip someone's head off for daring to eat in front of you or the opposite extreme of making one's self physically sick just trying to realize a goal. I believe these behaviors lead to self-destruction.

To find happiness in our skin, we must strive for balance. Cheers to finding your balance this weekend!

Don't starve, don't binge, eat right, exercise, you will get there.

Simple Garden Recipes: Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce

Simple Garden Recipes: Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce. This recipe looks good! Checkout the pics and more recipe information at Thanks for sharing it, Putney Farm Peeps!

What You Need: No special equipment required, but the immersion blender is a good tool. A regular blender also works.

How Long? About 2 hours, with 20 minutes active time. A fun weekend (or free weekday) project.


  • Ripe tomatoes, as many as you want. Halved or quartered, if large

  • Onion, diced. Assume 1/2  of a large onion per dozen tomatoes

  • Olive oil and/or bacon fat. Assume 2 tablespoons per 1/2 onion

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Arrange the racks in your oven to fit a few baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Half or quarter the tomatoes and place them on baking sheets, skin side down (grease the baking sheets with some olive oil to avoid sticking).

  2. Place the baking sheets with the tomatoes in the oven and roast until the tomatoes start to brown on the edges, about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, place a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the onion. Cook the onion until soft, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the tomatoes and any juices to the pot. Bring the tomatoes to a boil and then move the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. If the sauce gets dry, add a little water. Mash any large chunks against the side of the pot. Taste and add salt and pepper. Serve or store in jars. The sauce will keep a week in the fridge. Or…

  4. Using a blender or immersion blender, purée the sauce. Then run the sauce through a fine mesh strainer or sieve. Use a ladle to push the sauce through the strainer. Serve or store in jars. The sauce will keep a week in the fridge.