National Women's Health Week - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

National Women's Health Week

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CARBONDALE, Ill.-- This week marks National Women's Health Week, which is meant to encourage women to make changes to improve both their mental and physical health. 

Cathy Turner, Owner of Great Shapes Fitness for Women, says there are certain types of exercises women should focus on

"It's recommended that women do at least 20 minutes or longer of cardiovascular exercise," Turner said. "It takes women at least 20 minutes to get into fat burning stage." 

She also makes it clear that using weights is just as important, "To effectively burn body fat, you need more muscle on your body." 

As women age, they tend to have different fitness goals and needs. 

"For young women, they are always concerned more about wanting to just lose weight," Turner said. 

Turner says, as women get older, they need to focus solely on being healthy, "As we age, we lose balance, we lose muscle because we lose our natural hormones."

About seven years ago, Carole Lawson, brought her workouts from outside in the hot sun into the gym. 

"I thought, I'm too old to be walking in this heat," Lawson said. 

Instead Turner recommends low-impact exercises and lighter weights, which is better for joints. 

"Ellipticals are fantastic because they take all of the impact out of your workout," Turner said. "Cycling. There's no impact to cycling." 

Lawson makes low-impact exercises a part of her work-out routine by cycling for 15 minutes and using the gym's weight machines. 

"What I do is go back and forth," Lawson said. "My legs, my upper body, my legs, my upper body." 

Turner says, for women, working out is healthy for your body and mind, but it's also about making connections. 

"Getting into a class with a lot of other women your age, going through the same things," Turner said. 

This is exactly what Lawson has found at the gym. 

"I meet people here that you become friends with and you talk to," Lawson said. 

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