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Benefits of Strength Training

Benefits of Strength Training

By Vincent Shaw, MD - Baton Rouge General Physicians

Strength training is one of the most important ways to stay fit and healthy as you age. Also known as weight or resistance training, it builds muscle, increases bone density and can improve joint function.

After age 30, we start losing as much as 5% of lean muscle mass each year. Strength training can help prevent that loss, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and injury and boosting your metabolism for up to 3 days post-workout. Even so, fewer than a quarter of Americans over 45 incorporate strength training exercises regularly.

Convinced it’s time to start? Develop a program that incorporates several different types of activities to avoid monotony and progress faster. Start with planks, squats and pushups before you add hand weights, kettle bells, resistance bands or medicine balls. You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment to benefit from strength training – body weight exercise are just as effective.

If you have any health issues, remember to ask your doctor what type of strength training is the best for your needs and abilities.