When it comes to exercise, strength training rarely gets the attention it deserves. The fact is, strength training is equally important as aerobics. It’s often overshadowed by aerobic exercise, the kind that makes your heart beat faster and your lungs work harder. The cardiovascular benefits of aerobic exercise can add years to your life — strength training can make those years fuller and more rewarding.
By conditioning your muscles, strength training gives you the power and agility you need to stay fit, active, and independent. It protects your ability to do everyday tasks and many of the things you love to do.
Between the age of 30 and 70, the average person will have lost about a quarter of their muscle strength. Half will be lost by the age of 90. As crucial as it is to promoting overall health and warding off disease, aerobic exercise alone is not enough to forestall this.
Without the inclusion of strength training, muscles become progressively weaker, as well as less functional. Strength training can enable people over the age of 50 to live longer, more quality lives. Beginning a strength training regimen takes as little as twenty minutes per session and does not require excessive stress or straining. The key is to use proper form, in a consistent manner, tackling both upper and lower body muscles. Noticeable strength gains can be realized in as little as four weeks. Methods of strength training include the use of free weights, ankle cuffs and vests, resistance bands, and exercises that employ body weight to create resistance against gravity. A slow pace starting off is important, in order to avoid injury.