Anti-aging and clues to a long, healthy life

Strength Training: Getting Started

The loss of muscle mass is one of the main ‘symptoms’ of aging. Our metabolism changes. We exercise less. And damn that Isaac Newton, gravity takes its toll.

This doesn’t have to be your reality. Regardless of age, you can incorporate a strength training program that can serve you well until you draw your last breath. Even if you haven’t exercised in years.

So how do you start if it’s been a while since you’ve exercised? If I’ve been out of commission for a while with an injury… the hazards of the sports I’ve played over the years… there is a very simple program I use to work my way back into shape.

There are three components to the program. Click on the underlined words below for a video ‘how-to’ link:

  • Abdominal exercises
  • Push-ups
  • Leg exercises

For abdominal exercises, there are two fundamental movements: crunches and leg raises. Crunches work your upper abs; leg raises hit your lower abs and help combat tummy bulge.

Push-ups are is the best overall workout for your upper body. Doing them from the knees or military style on your toes, push-ups strengthen your back, shoulders, and arms.

There are two leg exercises I start with to develop leg fitness. The first is knee-bends, or squats without weights. After a week or two of doing these, I add lunges.

Start out slowly. Do one set of each for the first week. Each day try to increase the number of repetitions (reps) of each exercise. Aim for five times a week

Work up to three sets of each per day, with each set doing reps to failure (meaning you can’t do another one).

Once you get to this point, you will be ready to tackle ‘serious’ strength training with free weights.

So give it a try. This is quick… only 5 – 15 minutes per day. You will be amazed at how quickly the results will come when you stick to this for a month!

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