Are You Losing Muscle Mass by Neglecting Your Strength?
This is the fourth article in my new series called Your Exercise GPA. Today we discuss the importance of including muscle strengthening in your exercise regimen.
You absolutely have to do muscle strengthening exercises if you want to reduce muscle imbalances and minimize the loss of muscle mass as you get older. Strengthening the muscles which stabilize your hips and knees in particular, is very important for injury prevention.
My favorite approach is to do simple strength exercises using your body weight, often referred to as circuit training. You can do these exercises anywhere and they are easy to do outdoors. You don’t need any special equipment and because they are functional, they support your daily life!
Your Strength GPA
Give yourself the following GPA score:
4.0 – You do at least two muscle strengthening sessions [total of at least 1 hour] a week.
3.0 – You do two muscle strengthening sessions [total of 30 minutes] a week.
2.0 – You do some muscle strengthening exercise but it is inconsistent.
1.0 – You do no muscle strengthening exercise at all.
How To Improve Your Strength GPA
- Your goal should be to do two strength sessions in your weekly exercise schedule. Start with 2 x 15 mins. sessions a week and progress gradually to 2 x 30 mins.
- Instead of adding another aerobic session to your weekly schedule, you will nearly always be better doing some functional strength exercises instead. This is probably counterintuitive, which explains why so few practice it.
- By adding strength exercises your other forms of exercise will also improve.
- You will boost your metabolism by increasing your strength and as a result you will burn more calories; each additional pound of muscle burns calories three times faster than fat.
If you would like a free report which describes my favorite strength exercises, click here.
In the next article/video in the series we will discuss the importance of stretching. We will identify your Stretching GPA and I will give you some tips on how to improve your score.
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Until the next time remember my motto:
You don’t have to be fit to start, but you do have to start to be fit and healthy.
By Jim Kirwan