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1, Apr 9, 2014

Strength train, key to live longer and better

Filed under: Healthy aging — admin @ 2:25 am

Again, from Harvard newsletter comes this article, “Want to live longer and better? Strength train.”

Regular physical activity promotes general good health, reduces the risk of developing many diseases, and helps you live a longer and healthier life. For many of us, “exercise” means walking, jogging, treadmill work, or other activities that get the heart pumping.

But often overlooked is the value of strength-building exercises. Once you reach your 50s and beyond, strength (or resistance) training is critical to preserving the ability to perform the most ordinary activities of daily living — and to maintain an active and independent lifestyle.

The average 30-year-old will lose about a quarter of his or her muscle strength by age 70 and half of it by age 90. “Just doing aerobic exercise is not adequate,” says Dr. Robert Schreiber, physician-in-chief at Hebrew SeniorLife and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Unless you are doing strength training, you will become weaker and less functional.”

Strength training encompasses any of the following:
Free weights, such as barbells and dumbbells
Ankle cuffs and vests containing different amounts of weight
Resistance (elastic) bands of varying length and tension that you flex using your arms and legs
Exercises that use your body weight to create resistance against gravity.

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