Strength Training for Strong Muscles

Woman lifting small weights

Current physical activity guidelines recommend strength training, which helps to prevent or reverse sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the decline of skeletal muscle tissue, or muscle mass, as we age. Doing strength exercises at least twice a week keeps your muscles strong, so that you can do everyday activities such as lifting groceries and rising from a chair.

Visit the National Institute on Aging Go4Life exercise videos, bit.ly/3ocqDmy, on YouTube for strength-training exercises, 7 tips for a safe and successful strength-training program, bit.ly/3GNZQ8p, or download the Prevent Sarcopenia handout, store.extension.iastate.edu/product/14826.

Physical Fitness without the Fees

Woman exercising

Strength training is just as important as aerobic exercise. Luckily, you don’t need to buy expensive fitness equipment or gym memberships. Here are some no-cost ways to increase your strength:

  • Lift can or bottle weights. You can use unopened soup cans from your cupboard, or plastic milk, water, or detergent jugs filled with water or sand.
  • Scoot on paper plates. Doing lunges on paper plates placed on a carpet helps sculpt the body.
  • Do push-ups. Push-ups can be done anywhere, anytime. It’s helpful for beginners to use counter tops for assistance by placing both hands on the counter and placing the feet behind from an angle.
  • Use old pantyhose as resistance bands. Anything you can do with resistance bands you can do with pantyhose (squats, curls, and other moves).
  • Conquer the stairs. Skip escalators and elevators whenever you can. Stair climbing strengthens the legs and exercises the heart.

Visit www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/videos/ for how-to videos on muscle-strengthening exercises you can do at home.

Source: Move It Monday

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