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News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

Top 10 Reasons to Strength Train

• Smith

Strength training is an integral part of a well-rounded exercise program, and is recommended for all ages, including kids and seniors.

Many still make the mistake of equating weight training with "bulking up."

Please understand that strength training is not just about "looking good."

It's also an important part of maintaining a healthy weight, strengthening your bones, and improving your body's posture, range of motion and functionality.

But that's just the beginning … below are 10 more reasons why strength training should be a regular part of your workout routine.

10 Reasons to Add Strength Training to Your Workouts

10. Last time you tried to open a jar of olives you gave up and settled for a box of crackers. Why?

You're losing it, baby!

When it comes to muscle mass, we all experience a scary little process I call "The Great Decline."

Every decade we lose muscle mass, and as we age the percentage of loss just keeps accelerating. By age 60, the average person will have lost one-third of his/her muscle mass.

The good news: you can reverse it with resistance training. There's no age limit on your ability to add muscle and stop The Great Decline.

9. The phrase "Sitting AROUND the house" has more than one meaning – and you'd like to avoid one of them.

If you're reading this article, chances are you're interested in maintaining or losing weight. Too many people try to drop inches with diet alone, or by walking endlessly on the treadmill. My DVD 2-pack title says it all: Lift Weights to Lose Weight.

Here's the bottom line: a pound of muscle burns 35 to 50 calories a day, just by sitting there on your body. A pound of fat? It burns about 3 to 5 calories a day.

8. Your idea of "getting dairy in your diet for calcium" is a pint of Ben & Jerry's ... so it's time to bone up.

In your 30's, bone mass generally reaches its maximum level of growth. Then, in your 40's, it's another decline: your bone mass starts gradually decreasing. Once again, dumbbells save the day, as strength training maintains or even increases bone mass as you age.

7. Last time you slipped in the shower, you almost reenacted the "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercial.

Poor balance and lack of muscular strength can result in falls, leading to fractures, broken bones, and worse. When performed properly, strengthening exercises increase flexibility and balance – so you can stay on your toes.

6. Heart disease is sooooo 2007.

Heart disease risk is lower when your body is lean. The American Heart Association recommends strength training as a way to reduce risk of heart disease – it helps you lose visceral fat, the most dangerous type of fat when it comes to cardiovascular health.


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