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When it Comes to Exercise, Don't Neglect Strength Training

Very few people will argue with the fact that you need to exercise in order to improve your health. However, "exercise" is a very broad term.

Exercise can be generally classified as "cardiovascular exercise" and "strength conditioning" or "strength training". The main purpose of cardiovascular exercise is to increase your heart rate, improve your breathing efficiency and to improve endurance. Examples include jogging, brisk walking, swimming and most outdoor sports activities.

The main objective of "strength conditioning" exercises on the other hand is to build or maintain muscle in the body. This is extremely important because research shows that as we age, we lose muscle as a percentage of body mass. This is bad because it reduces our basal metabolism. The implications of this is that you may find that while you are eating about the same amount of calories as you've always done, your body is gaining weight.

I have found that the majority of people I speak to seem to overlook the importance of strength conditioning exercises. In order to build or maintain muscle tone, you need to work your muscles to exhaustion.

I consulted many individuals who are under the illusion that they are strength training merely because they are using some form of weights. But when I examine the way they use the weights I notice that they are not stretching the muscle to exhaustion. Meaning they may do 10 repetitions on a weight but at the end of those repetitions, they could easily do another 10.

Here are some pointer on how to ensure that you are strength training correctly:
  1. If you want to maintain your muscle percentage in the body, you must have a strength training program with weights.
  2. Adopt a program that exercises all your major muscle groups - arms, chest, back, abdominals and legs.
  3. Each time you exercise a muscle, you must exercise to exhaustion. Meaning you must not be able to perform another repetition.
  4. Finally, make sure you rest each muscle group for 2 days before training it again.

72 Years Old in Perfect Health

Here's a short news story about a 72 year old man in great health. Now while the story is a great tribute to him, the point I would like to stress is in the newscasters commentary.

We all know that we should strive to emulate those people who have achieved great health. We know what they do. Among the core principles are that they eat a natural vegetarian diet and they exercise regularly.

We live in a world of cause and effect. If we want great health, just follow the habits of healthy individuals. But sadly, the commentary by the newscasters are the exact opposite. So they are laughing now but what do you think they will look like at age 72?

Watch the video yourself and see what you think: