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For most of us, the concept of weight training is so far out of our realm that we tend to avoid it altogether. We envision muscle men like Lou Ferrigno, the big, green guy on the Incredible Hulk and former Mr. Universe. Actually, weight training is not only for body builders, and it is not only for men! There are several great reasons why women as well as men should do at least some limited weight training in their personal exercise/fitness programs.
Everyone knows that lifting weights is great for building muscles. What we often fail to consider is that our hearts are muscles too. By slowly building strength and stamina we in turn reduce the amount of stress placed on our hearts during typical, day to day activities. Lifting and walking become easier thus reducing the strain on that all important muscle crucial to life itself, the heart.
Another benefit to weight training that many people are unaware of is the fact that it helps to maintain bone strength. It is not only important for women but for men as well. Osteoporosis, while not as common, also afflicts men who suffer from a calcium deficiency. As we get older we become more prone to spinal and hip fractures primarily because of this deficiency. Weight training, which is known to strengthen the bones as well as the muscles, can help decrease the risk of these fractures in older adults.
As with any exercise program, always consult with your doctor before you begin weight training. Once you have been given the go ahead, start slowly. You can gradually increase the weight and duration but the idea is to strengthen those muscles and bones, not sprain or break them before you begin. In no time at all youâll be a happier, healthier you. Of course, you may not look like Lou Ferrigno, but who wants to be green anyway?
Posted on October 13th, 2009 in Exercise
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