Forever Strong Book Review: Part 1

Forever Strong

Happy Friday, friends.   Today’s post is titled Forever Strong Book Review: Part 1.

Forever Strong by Dr. Gabrielle Lyon fits right into my word-of-the-year focus and I am learning so much from this book.

The book is 387 pages packed with good information so I am just going to skim the main ideas for a couple of posts.

Some reviews call the book a game changer.

I do encourage you to purchase it,  FOREVER STRONG: A NEW SCIENCE-BASED STRATEGY FOR AGING WELL.     

I knew the importance of muscle strength, but Dr. Lyon has showed me just how important and areas where I was making mistakes.

                    FOREVER STRONG BOOK REVIEW: A LITTLE BACKGROUND

Forever Strong

I do have a little history with strength training that I want to mention because I believe it is important when looking at Forever Strong.

Right before I turned 60, I was convinced by friends to begin strength training in a group of friends and a trainer…his name was Brett…a very patient man. (LOL)

I was more motivated by watching my mother in her sixties need help to get off the toilet all of the time, and deteriorate year-to-year in strength.

At that point, I had not gone into a gym for me…just to support my children.  It took so much just to talk myself into it.

When you are someone like me, strength training is very difficult in the beginning….but remember slow and steady wins the race…no matter what you do makes a difference.

On the first day, Brett told me to get down on the floor and do a push up.  I told him…I CANNOT DO THAT.

He quietly said, GET ON THE FLOOR….so I did, but my arms would do nothing!  Yep, I said NOTHING.

That was when he hit the floor and firmly said, “Pam, what are you going to do if you fall?  How will you get up? Now, use your arms and get off this floor!”

Over the next five years, this man and a couple of other trainers would get me to a point where I could dead life 130 pounds.

Forever Strong

But, the years in between 65-70 have had many reasons that I did not continue working out on the same level.  The wonky foot was a big part of the problem.

When I worked with a trainer prior to the wedding, she said, you cannot go back until you have your foot surgery…you need the balance and the toes.

I learned, though, how important just doing something has been with this foot surgery.

I have incredible strength with my other leg and hips, so getting around (and up and down) has not been a problem…muscles are amazing at how they remember strength and kick in sometimes when you least expect.

But, you have to lay a foundation of strength training for that to happen.

Now, I need to prepare to get back at it, and Dr. Lyon in Forever Strong has convinced me that it is more important now than ever before.     

I also want to highly recommend working with a trainer if possible…it does make a difference.

But, don’t let that be an excuse to do nothing!             

FOREVER STRONG BOOK REVIEW: MUSCLE-CENTRIC MEDICINE

Forever Strong

After years of practicing medicine, Dr. Lyon noticed that muscle determines everything about the trajectory of our health and aging.

Muscles are related to everything about us…and we are not just discussing lifting weights.

She now solely practices Muscle-Centric Medicine. 

She writes, “Muscle-Centric Medicine, which recognizes muscle as the organ of longevity, is the future of health.  Here’s your chance to change your life and rewrite your future.”

Forever Strong tackles why diets don’t work, health fads eventually are stopped, and health doesn’t improve.

I am better informed now to see how everything relates…and how to be more effective with my own personal health plan.

FOREVER STRONG BOOK REVIEW:  KEY POINTS

Forever Strong

Here are the key benefits, Dr. Lyon believes will happen with a muscle-centric health plan that is well rounded.

Remember we are not talking weight training alone.

Forever Strong

In those early years of weight training, I was amazed at how clear I could be after leaving all that I had on the gym floor.

Missing this had so much to do with motivating me to get this foot surgery done.

Dr. Lyon writes,

“Achieving your wellness goals depends on two core factors: knowing WHAT to do, that is, absorbing the evidence-based guidance I’m sharing about diet, exercise, and other lifestyle interventions, and knowing HOW to do it.

What I am referring to here is harnessing the mental framework necessary, in all its layers to get the job done.  The job at hand is taking 100% control of, and responsibility for your own well-being.”

I personally know that it takes so much mentally to just get started and then to keep it going.

So, I also know to make some of the changes she recommends along with it, will also take mental strength.

FOREVER STRONG BOOK REVIEW:  BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND

Forever Strong

These little two pound weights can help!  Do not avoid muscle strength because you think it is all about the big weights.

Slow and steady wins the race.

First, read Forever Strong, and then join me with a goal to increase muscle strength this year.

As I said, there is so much good information in Forever Strong, and I will cover some more next Friday, but there is no way I can cover it all here.

I encourage you to order the book…FOREVER STRONG: A NEW SCIENCE-BASED STRATEGY FOR AGING WELL.

Let’s get healthier together.  Of course, it will be a little while longer before I return to the gym. 

When I do I will let you know what path I am taking for working out.

Let me know if you have any questions about this Forever Strong Book Review….and make sure that you always…..

STAY STRONG AND KEEP SMILING!!

By Pamela Lutrell

I was encouraged to explain more about my SHOPPING LINKS page and how to use it.  (In fact I just added a few new brands to the list)

I am an affiliate for many different brands and when you click on those brands and shop, then I receive a small commission.

This is such an important income for me and my family.

I have tried to include the brands most shopped by this audience, but sometimes I miss one of your favorites.

If you will tell me what you are shopping, then I can tell you if I am affiliate for them and give you that link…if it is not already on the page.

And remember to send your recipes and home decor with pictures to over50feeling40@gmail.com.  Send to email and do not try to put in comments! YOU are the best.

Forever Strong

31 Comments

  1. My doctor told me last March that I could lower my A1C through weight lifting. I do Pilates 5 days a week and asked my teacher to increase the resistance training portion. She did and when I retested in December, my A1C went from 5.3 to 5.1.
    I did not read Dr. Lyon’s book because she is very interested in meat and I am a vegan. I understand the need for older people to get more protein so I read Plant Powered Protein by registered dietician Brenda Davis. I think there is a lot of good information out there that both meat eaters and plant eaters can benefit from. Both groups can benefit from healthy eating and exercise. I look forward to this discussion.

  2. I’m really looking forward to reading this book. I trust your recommendation. I’m one who let strength training slip. When I moved here I joined a gym that offered a TRX class. I was 67, had not been to the gym in a few years and the class was really hard. My instructor was wonderfully encouraging; I gained strength, confidence, energy & focus. Three years later we moved and at the same time the gym changed the format of their offerings. So I bought a TRX system for home and kept up with it until my husband’s health crisis. He became totally bedridden for over a year and I let a lot of things lapse when I became his sole caregiver. At least I kept up my walking and yoga. He’s still limited but much better now. I kept telling myself to get the TRX out and start over but I was able to come up with enough excuses to put it off. “Strength” gave me the push I needed. I remembered that if I attached TRX to another habit I could make it work. I take a yoga class 3 days a week so I told myself that I could do 20 min of strength right after yoga since I’m in exercise clothes. I started on Monday (sigh) with a beginner video. Some exercises were very hard, some surprisingly easy and side plank totally impossible in the straps. I have some aches from it but they are the good kind and I’m committed. I look forward to this discussion as I need a support group.

  3. Kathie…your comment is so important! I think the majority of us…me included…start and stop later in life for many reasons. It is so important that we get back up again when we set it aside. I have to wait through recovery right now but even the little bit I do will help. Thank you for sharing that even though it is hard and challenging that it is worth it.

  4. Thank you for the book recommendation. Just ordered. Also checked out the Banana Republic link. I have never shopped there before. I could not believe the awesome sales this week. Thank you for all of your suggestions/recommendations during this first week of 2024!!

  5. Oh, Pam, you are definitely talking to me today! I’ve shared with you that I had polio as a child so have always had a walking, balance problem. I started going to floor yoga almost ten years ago and have continued to go twice a week. My yoga uses weights, balls, discs, bands so not all slow yoga moves. I now can only get up off the floor using my “ down dog” position after my hip replacement but I can get up. I also have been walking at least a mile daily although my polio leg muscles will never get stronger. Now I’m scheduled for removing a bone spur, lesion, and arthritis from the right toe of my strong right non-polio leg so I’m very concerned as to how I will be able to move around using my polio leg. I plan to go to chair yoga while I cannot put weight on that foot, but I’m determined to keep working my muscles. Sorry to do what feels like dumping my situation on you but I’m excited to be aware of this book you are introducing and I’ll order it today! At 77 I’m determined to not be like my grandmothers and sit around or lie in bed all day because I cannot move.

  6. Pam, very interesting and helpful discussion. Does this book cover bone health? I’m in the early stages of osteoporosis and am confused about the scary drugs out there. I walk and take an exercise class, but I guess I need to pick up the weights. Any comments from you or this audience on bone health would be helpful.

  7. Great timing. I am doing nothing except walking, a few stretch exercises, and push ups against my kitchen counter when cooking. I have been thinking about chair Pilates since I have vertigo with exercises on the floor or bending my head down. I ordered the book!

  8. I really believe that even with all of these challenges, Celia, that you can develop strength. Keep that determination ..,it will serve you well. I am starting chair yoga…anything we do will help.

  9. Hi Marcia, when I began weight training at 60 I was diagnosed with osteopenia and had shrunk an inch. The doctor was discussing meds…but the trainer was discussing weights. Strength training turned everything around, The bone loss ceased and I never needed meds. You can do it…pick up weights!

  10. I really believe you need to start strength training. It will help with everything.

  11. This message and knowledge of this book has come at a good time for me. Years ago I had a Dexa scan done. I was told that I had the onset of osteopenia (precursor to osteoporosis) especially in my hips. I did not think too much of it and thought “ this couldn’t happen to me” anyway. I was robustly overweight, but still exercised some. Recently I had to repeat this scan after asking my doctor to do so since it had been five years. I went into the scan confidently cause I have lost 51 pounds and started walking so thought all would be well. I was totally caught off guard by the results…I am now dangerously close to having osteoporosis. This has totally shocked me and immediately started (like just this week!) trying to accept all this and figure out how I can slow this down. I need strength training and weight-bearing exercise. I have noticed I don’t have the strength I used to, but walking, which is considered weight-bearing was all I was doing. So, a journey to ” strength” is my word of the year in more ways than one! Thank you for this recommendation and always appreciate your content here. If anyone reading this is in the same situation, I’d love to hear what you’re doing to combat this disease. Loved coming to your city Pamela over the Thanksgiving holiday…the Riverwalk did not disappoint!

  12. Read what I said to Marcia….strength training with weights turned this same situation around for me, Jackie. I recommend a trainer if you can do that…10 years ago I had osteopenia and the doctor believed I would need medicine…but weight lifting halted it and so far I have not needed the medicine. I highly recommend you consider this change in your life. The author of this book addresses the myth that walking and cardio alone will solve this issue…we all must add some work with weights.

  13. Just ordered Forever Strong. I need something to motivate me this year. Foot problems seem to be epidemic as we age. After a wonderful vacation this summer which included a lot of walking, I came home practically unable to wear shoes. Naturally this is another excuse for not working out (and I have so many!) Hopefully, following along with others in this process will be motivating!

  14. I just started the chair yoga with a boot on one foot. I can tell just after one session that this is going to make a big difference. I do know how easy it is to allow foot issues to stop our progress completely. Keep doing something…have light weights at home and use them often while you sit or move in the house. You may want to at least see a doctor and have your foot issues evaluated like I did…in fact, I saw two doctors to get a second opinion. But move your upper body no matter what. I also continued to get massages and they help so much. Right before my surgery, I got a two hour massage that focused on lower body and I am so glad I did that. Stay Strong, Carolyn. You can do this.

  15. Pam this looks like a really good book. I’m going to look into ordering it. I have just recently joined the Y in our area and just started in some classes again hopefully I will continue. I really have to do something to improve my health. Looking forward to hear more about the book and reading ideas some of the others have to say about what they are doing
    I also wanted to mention that what your trainer said about getting off the floor is something to think seriously about. I want to be strong enough to do that and not be helpless.

  16. He said it with great passion and when he slammed the floor…it got my attention. I have made such great friends working out at the Y…there is a support system waiting for all of us…we only need to get out and find the best place. The women I have worked out with have been blessings from heaven. They encourage me and kept me going. The pandemic brought that to a halt…but I am determined to get it all back. I am still a Y member and look forward to returning there. Thanks Paula

  17. I’m a vegetarian (not a vegan though) and am a big fan of the Brenda Davis books. I walk briskly several times a week, and do yoga fit twice a week. I also swim 3/4 mile 1-2 times a week. I’m much more active than in younger years, but I’m sure everyone sees what’s missing: weights. I’m getting on that right away! A trainer might make me more accountable; I don’t enjoy strength training and tend to make excuses. One of my yoga instructors always says the most important exercise move is showing up :). I make jewelry with a group of ladies in their 60s-70s, and was astounded to hear recent discussions about falling, and that only one of them could get up off the floor unassisted. My doctor mentioned the importance of this for safety. I can get up using just my legs, with no push from the hands, though I need two fingers on the ground to sort of balance myself. I sure want to be able to do this going forward. I have a normal dexa but lost significant bone density the year I was on a scooter. It was heartening to hear that strength training could reverse this. Great discussion; I look forward to hearing everyone’s progress.

  18. I remember the first time I stumbled and caught myself with my legs not falling all the way! It was a great moment. I do not know very many people who like weights until they see results…and even then I have to force myself to go…but I do it by remembering what the results have been for me. Right now, I long to return. If you add weight lifting to everything else you are doing I believe you will be amazed a the progress. I know a obsessed runner in his sixties who struggles getting off the floor…add weights to that running and he would be able to do it.
    You can do it,Linda…look at all you do…just add a little more. A trainer does help with accountability and with targeting specific areas. I am so grateful to the trainers who have helped me.

  19. There are days when I really wish we were all together IRL to share an encouraging smile or hug. To Kathie – reading your message about caring for your husband and setting aside your quest for health yourself, you have no idea how this resonates with me. I am recommiting myself today, thanks to your words, Pam’s guiding force, Celia’s amazing story of strength in the face of adversity, Jackie’s weight loss and continued endeavor to achieve health, . . . really, thanks to everyone here. Osteoporosis and broken hips have run in my family, and I see the limited mobility and fear of taking a mis-step which make my mother and father so dependent on their walkers, and on me. But I know that doesn’t have to be my fate as I age. I know people also in their mid-eighties who get around great and live very independently. That is my goal! 🏋‍♀️

  20. Wow…there are so many hugs that I often want to give! All of these amazing women are the reason we are focusing on Strength this year and love ok forward in December to hear…we did it!! Thank you Connie for such an empathetic response.

  21. Pam, awesome post today and awesome comments by your readers. I have always liked Rod Stewart’s version of the song “Forever Young” so when I am exercising I’m humming my version of “Forever Strong”.

  22. Pam, this was an awesome post and awesome comments by your readers. I have always liked the song “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart. When exercising I will be humming “Forever Strong” to the tune of “Forever Young”.

  23. Pam, this is a great post. I’m so glad to see this science based information. You know I have leukemia,in remission right now. Exercise, weight training and yoga saved my life.. I was of an age-69-and because I was a female, the odds were strongly against my surviving a stem cell transplant. But because I had done strength training and exercise all my life, the doctor said he believed I could handle it because I had ‘the organs and lung capacity of someone 10-15 years younger.’ Well, here I am 2.5 years later and still exercising. Lift the weights, do the cardio, do the yoga. Don’t think, because you walk, that’s enough. It really is not. Do yourself and your loved ones a huge favor and get strong, whether at the Y, through SilverSneakers, a class sponsored by your local university-there are options. Make it an important part, the number one part, of your life.

  24. Thank you, Susan ! What a powerful story you have to share. I am so glad you a have turned it into a redeeming turn around. I know you just motivated many to hang in there.

  25. I bought the hard copy with my gift card from my generous son. I’m going to get the Audible as well because there are many days when I can’t hold a book because of severe osteoarthritis which affects my hands and my feet the most. I also have a chronic pain syndrome called hEDS, Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which is a defective gene that affects all of the collagen in my body. It really started to incapacitate me in my 60s. The hardest part is how it has affected my balance. I have 2 pound weights next to my chair and need the motivation to pick them up and start very slowly. It is very easy for me to tear tendons so slower than slow will be my goal but gain some muscle mass at 79. Strength mentally to move forward without causing injury and prolonged pain. I live rurally next to a very small town so my work will all be at home. I agree that this community can really help. We can support each other. Thank you Pam for starting me on a stronger rest of my life.

  26. I know you have so much to deal with, Sydney. Just start small. The Chair yoga for seniors on YouTube is very easy and there are free ones. Just 20 minutes a day. Have hope…baby steps will make a difference and get you started.

  27. Thank you for the introduction to this book, Pam! I do exercise- walk 2-3 miles a day unless really icy, yoga, Tai Chi classes, and feel I have a really strong lower body, but my arms and shoulders need help!
    This will help me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.