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Muscle-Strengthening Exercise…Something to Consider

STRENGTH TRAINING...IS IT FOR YOU?? The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults engage in strength exercise two to three times per week. This may be your end goal, but not necessarily where you begin. Starting with 10 minutes once or twice per week could be the gentle introduction to strength training that you need. Receiving guidance from a trained professional is beneficial for those exploring this avenue of fitness.

Strength-focused exercise is frequently associated with weight lifting. This is one manner of engaging in strength work; however, use of resistance bands, kettle bells, and one’s own body weight are fun and effective ways to strengthen both muscle and bone. Weight-bearing exercise causes muscle to pull on bone, contributing to increased bone density. With 50% of women and 25% of men aged 50 and over fracturing a bone due to osteoporosis, weight bearing activity for bone health is a must! The calories burned during strength training sessions contribute to weight management. Also, muscle tissue burns more calories than does fat tissue – another plus for weight management.

Are there other benefits from strength training? A resounding, “YES”! Research studies have found improvements in executive function (problem solving), memory, depressive symptoms, and sleep quality in correlation with consistent strengthening exercise.

In planning strength training workouts, be sure to schedule 48 hours or more between sessions. It is important to allow muscles to recover between strength workouts, as this facilitates the repair and building process. One important aspect in planning any exercise routine is sustainability: Choose something you can do for the long haul. Begin with lighter weight or resistance and fewer repetitions, then progress as you build stamina.

Your local health club is a terrific resource for planning, executing, and sustaining a strength training program right for you!



Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition, 2018, US Department of Health and Human Services, 2017, 2017

“Six Benefits of Muscle-strengthening Exercise You May Not Know About”, Nutrition, Dec.  30, 2015

About the author

Leslee Blanch

Leslee Blanch is a registered dietitian and group fitness instructor with a passion to promote wellness for individuals and for the community. As a Family and Consumer Sciences associate educator with University of Idaho Extension in Bonneville County, she offers a variety of wellness topics, including nutrition, fitness, and mental/emotional well-being.

Registered Dietitian
Certified Group Fitness Instructor

Family and Consumer Sciences Associate Extension Educator

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