For many people, strength training can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be!

Getting your recommended two or three days of 20- or 30-minute strength training per week can include these healthy aging benefits:

  • Increased muscle mass – we may need to include something here to make it look the others
  • Stronger bones – reduces the risk of fractures
  • Flexible joints – reduces the symptoms of arthritis
  • Weight management – burn more calories as you gain more muscle
  • Balance – reduces fall risk by increasing your core balance and flexibility
  • Improved posture – strengthened muscles hold your core upright and save your back and increase confidence

Talk to your doctor about starting a workout regimen that combines aerobic activity with strength training.

Strength training can take place at home or in a gym. A few types include body weight exercises, resistance tubing, free weights, and weight machines. Another option for strength training is to join a group exercise class! This is a fun way to challenge yourself, make new friends, and hold each other accountable for coming and completing workouts.

Strength training looks different for everyone. Start with a quick warm-up (like 5-10 minutes of fast walking) to get your body moving and to avoid injury. Give yourself a day of rest between exercising each specific muscle group. It’s important to just listen to your body in general and adjust to what feels best for YOU!

Strength Training MYTHS

“More exercise is always better.”

Over-exercising is possible and has negative effects on your body. Your program should meet your needs and only take a few hours of your week – not days of your week.

“Cardio is better than lifting.”

These aren’t in competition. Your program could include both to reach your weight loss or toning goals. Combining these can boost your metabolism and burn more fat than just doing cardio.

Sources: The American Heart Association, American Council on Exercise. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only.  For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.