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Feature Article

Strength Training Is a Must

It is easy to engage in some form of physical activity whether it be going for a brisk walk, playing outdoors with the dog or chasing the grandkids around the yard at a family reunion. These forms of physical activity improve our cardiovascular endurance and heart health while burning calories and decreasing our risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days per week, which increases your heart rate and respirations, can produce amazing health benefits. But did you know that these 30-minute blocks can be broken up into 10-minute increments throughout the day? According to Mayo Clinic and the American College of Sports Medicine, your daily aerobic exercise does not have to be done all at once. Just 10 minutes of exercise that increases your heart rate and respiration three or four times each day will produce tremendous health benefits.
However, if your goal is to improve your balance and coordination, decrease joint pain, increase your mobility, and sustain long-term weight loss, then strength training cannot be forgotten. Strength training can be appropriate for all ages regardless of your limitations. Just two or three days each week of moderate strength training can speed up your health improvement progress and make those everyday tasks much easier to complete. 
First, check with your primary care provider to make sure strength training is an appropriate addition to your weekly routine. Then, utilize your community resources and fitness professionals! Yes, strength training can be done at home by manipulating your own body weight or utilizing over-the-counter exercise equipment; but where do you start and how do you know what is appropriate for your own personal needs and goals? By looking at your community fitness options, identifying experts who are trained to produce results, and selecting a fitness center that meets your budgetary needs, you can ensure that your personal needs and limitations are attended to and you are engaging in safe, effective and appropriate strength training. 
Remember that you can improve your overall health and well-being by incorporating different forms of physical activity into your daily lifestyle. It is never too late to start, but the journey begins with you and your commitments!