The StrongWomen Program is a national evidence-based community exercise and nutrition program.
(For gender neutral programming for seniors, see our StrongBodies: Be Strong Stay Strong webpage.)
The StrongWomen Strength Training Program grew out of research published by Dr. Miriam E. Nelson on bone density in older adults, which became popular through her first book, Strong Women Stay Young. The program began in 2003 with the development of the StrongWomen Strength Training Program curriculum and StrongWomen workshops, which train women to become program leaders.
The benefits of strength training for older women have been studied extensively and include:
• Increased muscle mass and strength
• Improved bone density and reduced risk for osteoporosis and related fractures
• Reduced risk for diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression, and obesity
• Improved self-confidence, sleep and vitality
The StrongWomen Strength Training Program includes:
• progressive resistance training
• balance training
• flexibility exercises
Classes typically have eight to twelve participants and last approximately 45-60 minutes. Classes meet twice per week for 10-12 week sessions. Typically, several sessions are offered at each site throughout the year.
• Warm-up: walking, marching, or light calisthenics, e.g., toe touches
• Resistance Training: work all of the major muscle groups, utilizing a combination of dumbbells, adjustable ankle weights, and body weight
• Cool-down: upper and lower flexibility exercises
• Nutrition discussion during cool-down
StrongWomen Programs are implemented in local communities by allied health professionals, fitness specialists, and community leaders trained in the StrongWomen curriculum at day-long training workshops. The curriculum provides individuals with the primary functional materials to be used by community leaders to start programs within their town or county. In addition, together with the workshop, it provides information on fostering leadership and developing community projects such as working with local agencies to make neighborhoods more conducive to physical activity initiatives, such as an older adult walking program.
If you would like to start a program at your facility, please contact Jen Whitty, Waukesha County UW-Extension Health & Well-Being Educator at 262-548-7789.
StrongWomen envisions a diverse community of women who are fit, strong, and healthy; in turn these empowered women become agents of change for their families, communities, and beyond.
If you have any questions regarding healthy living, please contact:
Health & Well-Being Extension Educator
Civil Rights Statement: University of Wisconsin, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin counties cooperating. An EEO/AA employer, University of Wisconsin-Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title VI, Title IX and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.