Why is strength training important?
Did you know that we lose strength at a rate of 12 to 14 percent per decade after the age of 50? That's why it's important to build your strength as a way of improving your health.
How do you strengthen a muscle or muscle group?
Perform a minimum of one set of eight to 12 repetitions.
Select the weight that you can lift slowly, through the full available range of motion with good form and technique for a minimum of eight repetitions. If fewer than eight repetitions are performed select lighter weight.
Use free weights, weight machines or your own body weight (i.e. pushups, squats, lunges, stair climbing, abdominal crunches.)
Target large muscle groupslegs, back, chest and abdominals.
For best results, the entire movement (up and down) should be performed slowly and in a controlled manner.
Do not hold your breath during movements.
Strength train two to three times per week and not the same muscles on consecutive days.
You should feel the intensity of the exercise is "somewhat hard" to "hard".
What are some benefits of strength training?
You can continue your quality of life as you age and still be able to maintain your balance and perform routine tasks such as carrying groceries and laundry.
Muscle mass burns more calories than fat.
Your body can work harder and longer before you get tired.
You can have the strength to enjoy a more active lifestyle.
You can reverse the declines in strength, bone density and muscle mass that accompany aging.
You can maintain the flexibility and stability of your joints.
You can better manage your weight, when combined with a healthy diet.