Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier

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Strength training is an integral part of any fitness program. Here are some benefits of strength training and how you can get started.

Do you want to lose body fat, increase your lean muscle mass, and burn more calories? Strength training is your answer! Everyone should do strength training to improve their overall health and fitness.

It’s your choice: Use it or lose it:

As we age, our lean muscle mass naturally decreases.

If you don’t exercise to rebuild the muscle you have lost, your body fat percentage will rise. Strength training can preserve and increase your muscle mass, no matter what your age.

Strength training could also be beneficial:

Developing strong bones. Strength training can improve bone density and decrease the chance of developing osteoporosis by stressing your bones.

Control your weight. Strength training can help with weight loss or management. It can also increase metabolism, which can help you burn more calories.

You can improve your quality of living. Strength training can improve your quality of life, and your ability to perform everyday tasks. Strength training can protect your joints against injury. Muscle building can help you balance better and reduce the risk of falling. This will help you to remain independent as you get older.

Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can help reduce symptoms and signs of chronic conditions like arthritis, depression, back pain, diabetes, and heart disease.

You can sharpen your thinking skills. Research suggests that aerobic exercise and strength training on a regular basis can improve thinking skills and learning abilities for older adults.

Look at the possibilities.

You can do strength training at home or in a gym. There are options available.

Your body weight. Some exercises can be done with minimal or no equipment. Pushups, pullups or planks can all be done with minimal equipment.

Resistance tubing Resistance tubing is lightweight, inexpensive tubing that offers resistance when stretched. There are many options for resistance tubing in almost any sporting goods shop or online.

Use free weights. Classic strength training tools include dumbbells and barbells. You can also use soup cans if you do not own weights. You can also use medicine balls and kettlebells.

There are weight machines. Many fitness centers have resistance machines. Weight machines can also be purchased for home use.

Training using cable suspension. Another option is cable suspension training. Cable suspension training involves suspending a part of your body, such as your legs, while performing body weight training like pushups and planks.

How to get started:

Before you start strength training or any aerobic exercise program, you should consult your doctor if you have a chronic condition or are over 40.

Warm up before you start strength training. Start by warming up with five to ten minutes of brisk walking, or any other aerobic activity. Injury is more common in cold muscles than in warm ones.

You should choose a resistance level or weight that is sufficient to fatigue your muscles after 12-15 repetitions. You can do more repetitions of a particular exercise if you are able to. Gradually increase the resistance or weight.

A single set of 12-15 repetitions at the correct weight with most people can build muscle quickly and is as effective as three sets of that exercise. You are making the effort to strengthen your muscles as long as you can’t lift another repetition and hit fatigue. Fatigued at higher repetitions will likely indicate that you are using lighter weight, which will allow you to maintain proper form and control.

Rest your muscles for one day after working a particular muscle group to allow your muscles to heal.

Be aware of your body. Stop doing strength training if it causes pain. Try a lighter weight or a different exercise in the next few days.

To avoid injury, it is important to practice proper technique when strength training. For those who are new to strength training, it is a good idea to consult a trainer to get the correct form and technique. When strength training, remember to breathe.

When can you expect results?

Strength training does not require you to lift weights for hours every day. A few 20- to 30-minute strength training sessions per week can make a significant difference in strength.

These exercise guidelines are recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services for healthy adults:

Aerobic exercise. At least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes vigorous aerobic activity per week. Or a mixture of moderate and vigorous activities. These guidelines recommend that you spread this exercise over the course of a week. Exercise will have greater health benefits if you do more. Even lesser amounts of exercise can be beneficial. Even if you are only active for a short time each day, it can have health benefits.