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How to Begin a Strength Training Program for Better Health

By Stephen R. Farris

Research has proven that, as we grow older, we eventually start to lose muscle mass, which also affects our strength. That can lead to a drop in protection for our joints and bones, and could eventually lead to injuries.

That's why it's important to include some form of strength training in your exercise program. Why? Because it helps to strengthen the muscles around your bones and joints, thus helping to reduce your chance of injury.

There are at least five top categories when it comes to strength training:

  • Muscular hydropathy - Aimed toward building or stimulating muscle growth

  • Muscular endurance - Includes higher reps/lighter weights to force the muscles to work longer

  • Circuit training - Utilizing several exercises, working most all of your muscle groups and rotating from a different exercise to the next during a daily session

  • Maximum muscular strength - Forcing your muscles to work to their max using heavier weights and less reps

  • Explosive power - Combines both power and speed, mostly for high intensity workouts

Which one is right for you? That depends on the type of fitness goals you're trying to achieve. If you play sports, then you might want to try several variants. If you're just trying to get in shape, you might decide to start off with a simple approach, such as walking, cycling, or swimming, then work your way toward adding some type of strength training into your exercise routine. 

There's also the choice of what type of equipment you should use for strength training. While there is no one size fits all when it comes to equipment choice, there are several options to choose from. You'll have to decide what is right for you and your fitness goals.

  • Body weight - Use your own body weight to build up your chest, legs, arms, and back, by doing push-ups, planks, squats, and sit-ups.

  • Free weights - Usually involves a weight bench, various size weights, a bar, dumbbells, kettlebells, or any type of weight that isn't nailed down. 

  • Resistance bands - These are bands that provide various resistance levels, that are used to help build muscle and strength, but without taking up much room

If you have questions when it comes to starting a strength training program, or any exercise routine, pay a visit to your local chiropractor to find out what tips and suggestions they can offer to help you get started.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.

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