I have heard more and more about strength training lately. While there seems to be no end of new information about the best type of and way to exercise, strength training is something to consider adding to your routine. New studies show it can benefit health in surprising ways. Along with an increase in strength, it can help reduce pain, improve both flexibility and balance and improve sleep. The CDC summarizes the research an article on why to do strength training.
There are numerous benefits to strength training regularly, particularly as you grow older. It can be very powerful in reducing the signs and symptoms of numerous diseases and chronic conditions, among them: arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain, depression…
Until a few years ago, I had an off-and-on relationship with working out with weights. Since then, I have been reasonably consistent about strength training. My goal is twice a week. Being stronger helps me with daily activities like lifting big bags of dog food and with vacation activities such as portaging on a canoe trip.
Options include exercises using just your own body weight, free weights, kettlebells or a machine. Whichever you choose, be sure to learn how to work out with good form and build up repetitions/weight gradually! Mayo Clinic provides dos and don’ts of proper technique.
Usual disclaimer: If you are starting a new exercise program, consult your doctor.