Admittedly, not all of us are as fit as the Olympic athletes that we’ve been amazed by this past week. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how the human body can even achieve the impossible feats we have seen. Unfortunately things only get harder as we age. As you age, you gradually lose muscle mass your muscles begin to weaken. However, it’s never too late to start strengthening your body and reaping the benefits.You can slow this natural part of aging by keeping your muscles strong.
According to BCBSLA, studies show that strength training may help you stay active longer. It can prevent bone loss, or osteoporosis. That may protect you from a fall or a serious injury if you do fall. What’s more, stronger muscles may help people with a chronic condition, such as heart disease or arthritis, live better.
Here are a few tips from BCBSLA that can help you get started:
- Choose one or two exercises for each of the 6 major muscle groups. Your routine should focus on your chest, shoulders, arms, back, abdomen, and legs.
- Try using your own body weight. Heavy weights aren’t needed for strength training. Resistance exercises, such as pushups or lunges, work, too. But you may want to add weights later for more of a challenge.
- Schedule some days off. Your muscles need time to recover. So it’s best to fit in a day or two of rest between each strength-training session.
- Aim for 8 to 10 repetitions, or reps, for each exercise you do. For example, to strengthen your chest, you can do one set of 8 to 10 pushups. You may want to add more sets as you grow stronger.
- Focus on your form. When lifting weights, in particular, keep your movements slow and steady. And remember to breathe.
- Mix in some aerobic activity. The more physically active you are the better. Along with 2 sessions of strength training a week, experts also recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity like brisk walking.