Strength training and conditioning exercises are often associated with bodybuilders, but the fact is the activity holds benefits for all. As people grow older, their bodies naturally lose muscle and this is accompanied by an increase in body fat. However, a regular strength and conditioning routine can prevent this and boost your overall health to a great extent.
As a result of strength training and conditioning, your bone density increases, and this can prevent osteoporosis. It also keeps your muscles strong, and this increases independent mobility and improves the stability, balance, and condition of your joints. Strength training and conditioning also makes it easy for you to maintain a steady body weight, as it increases your basal metabolic rate, meaning that you burn calories even when you are at rest.
The first step to undertaking this sort of activity is to know what sort of method you want to adopt for the purpose of strength training. If you are not willing to invest any money in the process, and need an easy do-it-at-home program which does not require any equipment, you can take up activities like yoga or Pilates. For those who are willing to put in some money, buying equipment or purchasing a gym membership (which allows you access to weight machines and free weights) are both good options. If you are looking for more advanced equipment, you can try purchasing something that incorporates resistance bands or hydraulics in the design. All these methods are effective when it comes to strengthening your muscles and conditioning them. However, you need to make sure you are doing it right – if you’re doing it at home, use a body workout DVD for guidance, and if you’re at the gym, request a certified professional who can guide you and give you tips.
Once you have the equipment and have decided on the method you will adopt, you need to figure out details like “how often” and “how much”. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should ideally aim to fit muscle-strengthening activities into their routine two or more times per week, leaving a two-day gap between each session. During each session, you need to work on all the major muscle groups – target the shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, back, hips, and legs. Devise a plan, and do at least 8-12 repetitions of each exercise. However, keep in mind that doing more than the amount that is recommended will not give you any added health benefits or increase your muscle mass significantly – in fact, this might strain your muscles or cause injury. Instead, take it slow and steady, and remember to stay regular and consistent.