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Family Sports & Fitness

Women: Arm Yourself!

September is Healthy Aging Month, and USAF FitFamily invites our readers to focus on a healthy future today and every day.

So how can you prevent flabby arms before you get them? If you’re younger than 40, time is on your side. Your first line of defense is to keep your overall body-fat at a healthy, low level so muscle definition is more apparent.
  • Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio workouts at least five days a week.
  • Tone muscles with 30 minutes of strength training at least two days a week (ideally three), performing 8 -12 repetitions of each exercise each time. For arms, focus on bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, bent-over rows, shoulder presses

If you’re 40+, you may need to squeeze in extra work to get those arms back into shape. If you’re already seeing signs of flab, you’ll have to work hard to get rid of it. (Extra strength work isn’t a guarantee it’ll completely disappear.)

Even if you can’t work out five days a week, remember to:

  • Get your overall body fat in check with a sensible diet and regular exercise breaks.
  • Start doing pushups daily.
  • Keep the “work” in workout. Focus on improving muscle tone when you exercise and make every workout as rich as possible, filled with cardio and strength training.
  • Consider a group strength training class to be sure your lifting form is correct and you remain motivated to lift more and more frequently.
  • If you can add swimming to your routine, do so. The water adds valuable resistance that tones your arms effortlessly.
  • Build (or rebuild) healthy habits like taking the stairs, parking far away from store and work entrances and lifting heavy items on your own.

Another benefit of working out: Building muscles helps strengthen your bones too. Weight training now may delay or eliminate your need for osteoporosis medications in your twilight years.

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