Muscle workouts are key to maintaining everyday strength as we age. Strength and resistance training can help reduce body fat; protect bones, tendons and ligaments; and enhance your overall well-being.
Don’t like rigorous exercise? A simple muscle routine at home or a club can provide speedy fitness results, which can be motivating. To start, follow the basics:
- You can use free weights, machines or bands. Or use your own body weight as resistance to perform core routines, yoga, tai chi or water workouts. Mix it up.
- Do your muscle workout 2 or 3 times a week. Exercise both your upper and lower body — each 20 to 30 minutes.
- Do 1 set of 8 to 12 repetitions per muscle group, typically shoulders, arms, core and legs. Work the muscles to a point of fatigue.
- Allow 2 days of rest between muscle workouts; on off days, fit in cardio exercise.
- Don’t do too much too soon — just enough to make it a habit and start enjoying your workouts and the results.
- Warm up and cool down. Use proper form for best results and to avoid muscle strain.
- Keep challenging your muscles. Use progressively heavier weights or other resistance stimuli to increase demand and results.
Don’t be intimidated by muscle workouts. They can be very rewarding. Enlist your health care provider’s help in identifying your exercise needs. A certified fitness trainer can provide personal instruction. Learn more at acefitness.org.