by Paula | August 14, 2013 1:50 am
Strength training muscles provides multiple benefits for many age groups and addresses health issues for men and women. It provides metabolism burning opportunities while toning and strengthening muscles. It builds bone density and also helps retain balance and reduce injury as we age. To achieve the most opportunities for these benefits, make sure your training targets all the different muscle zones, even those you don’t love, or understand their importance.
For many years, I avoided shoulder work because I didn’t like it and as a woman, I didn’t understand the importance. Then I experienced a rotator cuff injury (that still acts up periodically). After seeing a specialist, I was referred to physical therapy. After 4 sessions which were expensive and difficult to schedule, I came to appreciate the importance of a strong shoulder zone. The additional bonus was that strong shoulders on my petite frame were very flattering.
Strengthening quads and hamstrings provides support for hip joints as we age. The quads (the area of your thighs) also support your knees’ health and stability. Both of these zones also help you retain balance and reduce injury from falling. You can utilize squats as well as knee extension machines and many other varieties of cardio such as walking, running, biking and swimming and good old fashioned dancing!
Shoring up your abdominal region may seem like a solution only for those who are looking for 6-pack abs, but it also helps improve posture, balance and mobility which increases our quality of life as we age. A lack of mobility can lead to a sense of isolation and depression. Do what you can to avoid that future.
When deciding exercises for your back, remember all the zones of your back region. Many fitness enthusiast don’t focus on their lower back, but this is a critical zone for lifestyle maintenance, a reduction in injury possibilities, mobility and the ability to complete everyday tasks.
When you’re exercising, make sure you start with a 5 minute warm up: jogging in place, walking, doing jumping jacks, jump rope or treadmill to warm up your muscles. I use a foam roller almost everyday before my work out begins to help lengthen and stretch out the knots from previous days work. You can find them at fitness stores and on-line. Then spend 5 minutes stretching the zone your about to work, including your neck. Your neck and upper back are a storage area for stress. Jumping right into weight training/resistance training with cold muscles can lead to injury. Stretching at the end allows your body to reduce it’s heart rate and close out your fitness.
I sincerely hope this blog encourages you to begin a weight bearing program if you’ve never done it before so that you can realize all the youthful benefits and how it can help you maintain a better, healthier quality of life.
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