This month, we continue our "May is Exercise Month" and the initiative started by "The Doctor's" "Get Moving May!" in support of National Physical Fitness & Sports Month and in partnership with the President’s Challenge. by discussing one of my favorite components of fitness, "Strength and Strength Training". I definitely believe it is a vital component to our health, and to slowing down the aging process! (For more info, and to get started go to www.thedoctorstv.com/main/content/Get_Moving_May")
So, how does our body composition change as we age? As we age (yes, this includes men too) we become less active, gain weight, lose muscle, and hence our body composition changes. The percentage of our body fat increases for even those of us that haven't gained weight on the scale, since the loss of muscle contributes to the change in body composition. Unless we strength train, that is! Starting a strength training program can be a major step against the aging process and the battle of the bulge!
Regular strength training 2-3x per week has many different benefits from aerobic training (let's keep up that walking!). While too many of us lead very busy lives and feel we don't have the time to devote to strength training, I suggest that we need to make the time. And if we think strength training only builds muscles, let's review the many other wonderful benefits it gives us. Okay, here goes why.
Consistent strength training will :
Give our muscles shape, and help us to reshape, giving us a "toned" appearance.
Keep our skin tight (ever notice how weight loss without toning leads to a loss of skin elasticity especially for baby boomers and beyond?).
Help us to keep our functional strength for our daily activities and sports.
Help relieve and manage arthritic symptoms by strengthening the supporting muscles that surround our joints. Strong muscles support our joints, absorb the shock of walking, etc.
Increase bone density.
Improve our posture.
Prevent low back pain.
Help raise our metabolic rate (so we can eat a little more and maintain our weight a little easier).
Improve our circulation. Yes, strength training our lower body helps the blood to return to our hearts (strong leg muscles contract during movement which helps to push blood flow back to the heart).
Studies also suggest that strength training helps to lower blood pressure as part of a well rounded fitness program, possibly by keeping our blood vessels more elastic.
These are just some of the important benefits to consistent strength training (aren't these enough?).
The American Institute for Cancer Research also recommends that we keep our weight gain during adulthood to under 11 pounds to lower cancer risk. This is why they too, have added strength training to their recommendations.Many times I am asked if weight loss is needed before starting to strength train. I always respond that strength training is part of a fitness and weight loss program!
So, one of my motto's that I live by on a regular basis as a baby boomer myself, is "I don't find the time, I make the time". Exercise, both cardiovascular and strength training are important lifestyle habits for our health and our anti-aging campaigns.
Need some short term "eat -healthier" or "drop a few pounds" help? Contact me via reply to [email protected] for info on my new Telephonic Health & Weight Loss Coaching program. Individual sessions available as well. My book "It's NOT a Diet, it's Creative Eating!" available at http://www.amazon.com/Its-Not-Diet-Creative-Eating/dp/1432743597/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259605985&sr=1-1
Pump any iron recently?
June M. Lay M.S.
The information included here does not replace a physician's recommendations and/or traditional medicine. Please seek your doctor's approval before beginning a new exercise program if any pre-existing medical condition exists or if over 40.
Contact us for information on the new "10-week Personalized Get- in- Shape" Programs by emailing me or go http://www.junefit.com/serviceshp.htm Offered also are "Personal Exercise Only" Programs smartly designed to strengthen, condition, increase flexibility, and more with Ed Irace! Services provided in NYC, and nationally through Skype web service, email and phone when appropriate.
Junefit is a supporting organization and member of "Exercise is Medicine" a group of physicians, corporations and governmental agencies managed by the American College of Sports Medicine to advance the cause of Exercise as a medicine. For more info go to: http://www.exerciseismedicine.org/supporters.htm
June is Lifestyle Columnist at www.healthnewsdigest.com/news/index.shtml
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