Don’t Forget to Strength Train
It’s almost summer, our favorite time of year at Take Care Coaching. Summertime encourages many of us to become more active, which is great for our bodies and minds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans supports this. Being physically active helps you to:
· Control your weight
· Improve your mood
· Strengthen your bones and muscles
· Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and developing Type 2 diabetes
· Reduce risk of some cancers
· Increase your chances of living longer!
Physical activity has so many benefits! The CDC suggests healthy adults complete 150-300 minutes each week of moderate intensity aerobic activity (such as taking a brisk walk or playing doubles tennis), or 75-150 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (such as going for a run or playing singles tennis). In addition, it is recommended that each week you also include 2 days or more of strength training, working all your major muscle groups. Read here for more information on the CDC physical activity recommendations.
At Take Care Coaching, we see many people rocking it with their aerobic activity, which is wonderful and a great place to start if you haven’t been active in a while; but we also see some people neglect strength training, which is just as important! We encourage you to make sure you include strength training into your weekly physical activity routine.
You may see strength training being called by other names, such as muscle strengthening, resistance training, or muscle strength and endurance exercises. They all mean the same thing, which is any exercise that increases your skeletal muscle strength, power, endurance and mass.
Strength training is vital to keeping your muscles and bones strong now and in the future. Keeping up your strength will allow you to continue to climb the stairs, carry the groceries and do all the normal activities you do every day well into your 80s and 90s. Studies also show that if you’re looking to lose weight, combining cardio with strength training can help you lose it faster than just cardio alone. Here are some of the wonderful benefits of strength training. It helps you:
· Develop strong bones and reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis
· Manage and lose weight
· Build better balance and may reduce risk of falls
· Maintain independence as you age by helping you improve your ability to do everyday tasks
· Manage chronic conditions like arthritis, back pain, diabetes and more
When coaching clients, they often think strength training means they have to lift heavy weights. This is just one way to train. Free weights can be used instead of weight machines. You can also use your own body weight by doing pushups, lunges, squats and/or planks. Exercise bands work great too. Certain yoga classes can also help build strength. There are lots of options to try! Explore and discover what works best for you so strength training becomes a “want to” and not a “have to.” Before starting any new workout though, check with your doctor. It’s important to keep them in the loop to any changes with your activity. Once you get your doctor’s okay, let Take Care Coaching help you stay accountable with your exercise goals. To learn more about strength training and for sample workouts see the resources below.
CDC (2018). Physical Activity: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
Mayo Clinic (2016). Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/strength-training/art-20046670
CDC (2015). Adding Physical Activity to Your Life: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adding-pa/index.htm
ACE Fitness (2014). Strength Training Workout for Beginners:https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/3714/strength-training-workout-for-beginners