Tag Archives: Women

Five Titles – Books For Midlife Women

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There are lots of books about aging and many are not worth buying. There are books by guys who are now on their second or third wives (ultimate bummer: college tuition and private nursery school applications at the same time!), spiritual tomes by assorted Oprah-fueled nutjobs, or those perky types who claim the best is yet to come, if you’d just put on a red hat and a caftan.

These books are none of those.

Here are five no-nonsense, non-fiction titles you may find useful as you shift to your fifties.

Inventing the Rest of Our Lives: Women in Second Adulthood, by Suzanne Braun Levine. This is the single best book you can read if you’re between the ages of 35 and 60. This book saved my life when I was turning 50 because it made me realize I wasn’t crazy.

Okay, I was, but, as Levine points out, this is normal. The forties and fifties are a time of great physical, material and spiritual changes that require conscious, conscientious, readjustment in every area of your life.

Levine, the first editor of Ms. Magazine, takes you through the physical and metaphysical changes that start in your forties, and into what she calls the “F*** You Fifties.” (Gotta love that.)

This book is a nice mix of reporting and anecdotes. It answers a lot of questions about aging, but it also has a kick-butt attitude. The chapter segments say it all: Getting to What Matters: Letting Go and Saying No, Finding Out What Works, Recalibrating Your Life, and Moving On to What’s Next: Making Peace and Taking Charge.

Going Gray, by Anne Kreamer. The day you notice those gray strands  appearing on your head, you have to decide: do or dye? It’s a biggie. This book is for every woman who’s ever spent half a day and a day’s pay making small talk with a hairdresser, listening to loud and really crappy music, with her head slathered in toxic substances and thought, “Jeez, is haircolor really worth all this?”

Mor of us are asking that question these days, but the answer is not so simple, as Kreamer points out in her exploration of the decision to stop dying her hair after nearly 30 years. (On a recent trip to New York City I was struck by the number of really bad blonde dye jobs I saw among older women. And it’s painful watching fabulously brilliant women newscasters cope with their blonde hair. Ladies, we have to talk. )

In an age of Botox and boob-jobs, Kreamer explores the idea of authenticity in our 21st-century lives and how much of our self-image is colored, literally, by others’ impressions of us.

In the process of “going gray,” Kreamer makes other changes in her life, and starts the process of aging gracefully. That, plus, she started a new career as a book author.

Strong Women Stay Young, by Miriam Nelson and Sarah Wernick. What? You’re over 40 and you don’t have free weights? Get yourself to a Dick’s! Right now!

But first read this book, which lays out the whys and wherefores of developing a strength training program. Here’s the thing about midlife: You can walk until Oprah turns 60, but you’ll still be flabby because of muscle loss. Strength training makes a huge difference, by stepping up your metabolism and strengthening muscle, making you a lean machine, and helps with posture, balance and back problems.

Overcoming Underearning, by Barbara Stanny. By now you probably know that women are chronic underearners. The reason you know this is probably because you are one yourself. Stanny gets at some of the reasons why and offers some steps to change it.

One step: Stop talking trash about yourself. You may think it makes you less threatening in the workplace, but it can also make you more dispensible, as in that  memorable New Yorker cartoon–one executive sitting across the desk from another, says “You just self-deprecated yourself out of a job.”

The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield. This is the mother of all self-help books, a compendium of dozens of tips worth coming back to.

This is a good book if you’re making a transition–or if transition is being thrust upon you. It breaks down the steps to making a successful life change.

Caveat: it’s sometimes irritating; it turns out that most success gurus are only successful at….telling other people how to be successful. But it’s a quick read and a great pick-me-up. And if you have a soon-to-be college graduate in the house, buy her a copy. I use this book in my career prep class, and students always report that this book helped them a lot.

By B.J. Roche

Read more at http://www.fiftyshift.com, essays, tips, humor, community for midlife women.

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Getting Started With Bodybuilding For Women

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Women can be bodybuilders just as men can but the important thing to note is that since a woman’s body is different, she will have many different needs when it comes to bodybuilding. She may do different exercises and routines and will have to adjust her diet differently from that of a male bodybuilder or a female who does not engage in bodybuilding activities.

With female bodybuilding becoming more and more mainstream, a lot of women are learning about their unique needs and how best to shape their body and encourage muscle growth for bodybuilding. If women want to cut and enhance their muscles, they must learn as much as possible about their bodies and how they work.

Women are designed by nature to be different from men in various aspects so the techniques which work for a male bodybuilder will not produce the same results in a female. One of the best ways for a female bodybuilder to build her muscles is through weight training. Cardiovascular workouts are also going to be very important to be sure that you burn extra calories and keep the heart healthy. This will increase your stamina as well.

What are the steps to getting started with women’s bodybuilding? Here are some ideas:

As a woman, you must first start with fat loss. Women generally have more fat than men and this fat covers the muscles and makes it difficult to see them even if they are well cut and built up. Women average about 18-24% body fat and men usually fall in the 14-18% range.

Track your progress. Keep a journal to write down where you are, when you begin and how much progress you make on a weekly basis. Be sure to keep a daily track of what exercises you do, weight training and much more. This will help you know when you need to increase your workout as well.

Remember the importance of your diet. Your body tends to process food a whole lot differently than that of a man.

Watch your weight loss. It’s natural for people to want to lose fat but if you lose body fat too quickly, you might end up losing muscle as well. If you don’t want to lose any muscle mass, the ideal amount of weight that you should lose on a weekly basis should be between 1-2 pounds

Workout 3-4 times a week using both weight training and aerobic exercise. This allows you to tone, build muscle mass and gain strength.

Eat a high protein diet and avoid complex carbohydrates as much as possible. You may try protein shakes, poultry, fish, cheese and eggs.

Be sure to always drink lots of water to hydrate the body and cleanse it of toxins.

Don’t take in more daily calories than you burn. This will cause you to gain weight from fat instead of muscle.

These bits of advice will help you get started easily when it comes to female bodybuilding; one more great idea is to locate a personal trainer that has a record of working with female bodybuilders and helping them achieve results. This way you get the advice of an expert in the field and you know when you are veering off your desired path and goals.

Guy Starbuck is a Super Geek and Health Phreak who writes for StrongRod.com, and StrongRod.com

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