Monroe County Penn State Cooperative Extension's Strong Women classes, a strength training program for women over 40, are available in Brodheadsville and Trachsville. Classes meet twice a week for 12 weeks. Registration information is available on their website or call (570) 421-6430 for a brochure.

Three locations have been scheduled:

Ÿ Western Pocono Community Library, Brodheadsville, Jan. 11-March 31, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10-11:30 a.m.

Ÿ Jerusalem Lutheran Church, Trachsville, Jan. 10-March 30, Mondays and Wednesdays, 10-11:30 a.m.

Ÿ Penn State Cooperative Extension, 724 Phillips St., Suite 201, Stroudsburg, Jan. 10-April 24, Mondays and Wednesdays, 2-3:30 p.m. or 4:30-6 p.m.

Based on research conducted by Dr. Miriam Nelson and her colleagues at Tufts University, it's known that adults from age 35 can start to lose one-quarter to one-third pound of muscle each year and gain that much more in fat.

At first, the change isn't especially noticeable; but over time the loss of 2 percent of strength per year results in muscle weakness and difficulty in moving.

When this happens, adults slow their activities, become weaker, gain more weight, and begin a devastating cycle of dieting and weight gain rebound, which leads to more muscle mass loss and a sedentary and dependent lifestyle.

Dr. Nelson and her colleagues researched strength training for adults as a way to reverse the physical changes associated with growing older. The study indicated that after a year of strength training twice a week, women's bodies were 15-20 years more youthful.

People who participated in the program regained bone and muscle while losing fat. They became stronger, energized, and more active.