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Why you should be strength training

National guidelines recommend engaging in strength training activities at least two times a week. What does this mean for you? Move your body in a way that is going to strengthen your muscles. You can do a bodyweight workout or use dumbbells, barbells or resistance bands.

Build and maintain muscle mass

Strength training is the best way to build and maintain lean muscle mass. Muscle mass is important in order to maintain health, particularly as you age. The leaner muscle mass you have the more energy you will expend at rest, which aids weight control.

Strengthen bones and improve balance

As we age, our bones may become fragile and weak. Strength training helps keep muscles and bones strong and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. By improving your strength and coordination, you are decreasing your risk of falling or developing injuries.

Control weight

Muscle increases lean body mass and helps your body burn more calories while at rest. The myth that lifting weights will cause a woman to "bulk up" is false. Women simply do not have the same hormones in their body as men, which allow men to bulk up by lifting weights. Female body builders who bulk up do so through a very intentional diet, supplements and intense training.

Below is a simple bodyweight workout to get you started. Seek assistance from a fitness professional if you are unsure how to complete the exercises with correct form. Modify the exercises as needed to stay safe.

Simple bodyweight workout

Complete each exercise for 30 seconds. Rest two minutes and repeat four times.

March in place

Squats

Push-ups (modify as needed, place hands on a wall, a countertop or the floor)

Lunges (alternate each leg, hold on to a chair for balance if needed)

Overhead press (press arms overhead or across body, add weight if you wish)

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bodyweight exercises to try at home
Bodyweight exercises to try at home

By Hannah M. Cornell, PTA, Physical Therapy Gundersen Boscobel Hospital and Clinics Don't have access to a gym or equipment? No worries, bodyweight exercises can be just as effective by

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