If your aerobic workouts aren’t balanced by a proper dose of strength training, you’re missing out on a key component of overall health and fitness. Despite its reputation as a “guy” or “jock” thing, strength training is important for everyone. With a regular strength-training program, you can reduce your body fat, increase your lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently.
Use it or lose it
Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. Strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass at any age! It can also help with the following:
Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Control your weight. As you gain muscle, your body gains a bigger “engine” to burn calories more efficiently, which can result in weight loss. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to control your weight.
Reduce your risk of injury. Building muscle helps protect your joints from injury. It also contributes to better balance, which can help you maintain independence as you age.
Boost your stamina. As you get stronger, you won’t fatigue as easily.
Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.
Sharpen your focus. Some research suggests that regular strength training helps improve attention for older adults.
Strength training can be done at home or in the gym. Consider the options:
Body weight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try push-ups, pull-ups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.
Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing is inexpensive, lightweight tubing that provides resistance when stretched. You can choose from many types of resistance tubes in nearly any sporting goods store.
Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools.
Weight machines. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines. You can also invest in weight machines for use at home.
Strength training can do wonders for your physical and emotional well-being. Make it part of your quest for better health.
Dejinera Lee, Certified Personal Trainer, Premier Fitness Camp
Dejinira has been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor since 1996. She holds nationally recognized certifications from UCLA, Tufts University School of Nutrition, the Arthritis Foundation, YMCA, and the American Council on Exercise. She is also CPR and AED certified. Dejinira’s own quest for a healthier lifestyle began in the 90’s and she soon discovered a passion to help others. Her approach to health, wellness and life is finding balance and harmony of mind, body and spirit. Her motto is, “Have fun getting fit and never underestimate your own strength!” Some of her favorite formats to teach include Core Strength, Aqua, Gravity and Zumba.