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The Value of Strength Training
The goal: to keep muscles strong at every age

By Regina Boyle Wheeler
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Oct. 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Strength training -- also called resistance training or, simply, weightlifting -- isn't just for those muscular bodybuilders at the gym.

It's a type of exercise that should be part of everyone's overall fitness plan. Why? Strength training keeps muscle toned, reduces body fat, and helps burn more calories even when you're not working out.

Strong muscles are especially important as you age to stay steady on your feet and as independent as possible. A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that a simple lower body strength and balance training program can decrease falls as you get older. Upper body strength counts, too, allowing you to accomplish everyday tasks, from carrying groceries to walking your dog.

If you're new to strength training, a certified trainer can put together a plan with your fitness goals and ability in mind. Look for qualified professionals on the American Council on Exercise's website.

You don't have to join a gym to strength train. You can work out at home using a set of free weights, such as a mix of dumbbells and barbells; a home weight-training machine; resistance bands that come in graduated tensions; or even plastic bottles filled with sand or water.

Do a total body workout at least twice a week, one that targets all the major muscle groups. An alternative is to break up your routine by focusing on your upper body two days of the week and on your lower body and "core" abdominal muscles on two other days.

As you get stronger, challenge yourself. Whenever an exercise in your current routine gets too easy, add more repetitions or more weight/resistance.

It's important to give your muscles a break, too. Always allow two days between training sessions to give muscles time to recover and grow.

More information

The American College of Sports Medicine details the merits of strength training and how to set goals.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=726355

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Muscles
Goals
Set (Psychology)
Abdominal Muscles
Burns
Silicon Dioxide
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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