Muscles move our bodies. We need our muscles for movement we can control, such as moving our arms and legs to walk, dance, play and get us to where we want to go. Muscles are also responsible for many more processes that we can’t actively control, such as pumping our hearts and moving food through our digestive system. Developing muscles through exercise can improve strength, stamina and improve health and well-being. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends doing muscle strengthening exercises for the major muscle groups at least twice a week. Success comes from structure, support and sticking to a program. Be patient and love yourself each day, celebrating small improvements.
Strength training is essential to:
- Slow the muscle loss that comes with age, increase bone density, lower risk of injury and help ease arthritis pain.
- Prevent bone thinning like osteoporosis.
- Improve balance, reduce the likelihood of falls, improve blood-sugar control, and improve sleep and mental health.
- Burn calories for weight-loss.
Get started safely by:
- Practicing proper form with a qualified fitness trainer or instructor from a gym.
- Checking out books, videos, and or fitness websites for guidance on technique.
- Investing in a light set of dumbbells and/or resistance bands.
- Keep moves basic at first and incorporate stretching to help keep injuries at bay.
“We all have magic inside us.” J.K. Rowling