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Strength Training (cont.)

Why Do Resistance Exercise?

  • It builds muscle strength and tone. Humans lose 5 pounds of muscle every decade after age 30.
  • The number of muscle fibers declines with age. From age 30 to age 70 we can lose more than 25% of the type 2 muscle fibers in our bodies (type 2 fibers are our strength fibers). Resistance exercise can slow down or even reverse the aging process by building muscle mass and strength.
  • It's been shown to build bone. Osteoporosis, a condition of accelerated bone mineral loss which leads to fractures, can be a crippling disease, particularly in women (although men get it, too), and research on resistance exercise suggests that it can build bone even in the elderly.
  • There is some evidence that resistance exercise helps lower moderately high blood pressure.
  • More strength can lead to fewer falls in the elderly.
  • Resistance exercise can raise metabolic rate, an important factor in maintaining body weight.
  • It's never too late to start. In one study of elderly men and women (mean age 87) who lifted weights three times per week for 10 weeks, strength increased a whopping 113%! The improvement in strength enabled the elderly participants to also walk faster (12% faster than before the study), climb 28% more stairs, and it even caused the muscles in their thighs to increase by more than 2.5%.

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Strength Training - Exercise

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Therapeutic Exercise »

DeLateur defined therapeutic exercise as the prescription of bodily movement to correct an impairment, improve musculoskeletal function, or maintain a state of well-being

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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