After years of promoting strength training as the “core” of any exercise and activity program, it is gratifying to see the mainstream media is increasingly aware of its importance. The scientific literature has been quite clear on this for a fairly long time. Almost all of the conditions we associate with aging are correlated with a loss of muscle tissue that occurs to everyone who is not engaged in specific and progressive resistance training. This is true regardless of activity level.
Older and Stronger states: “Our analyses of current research show that the most important factor in somebody’s function is their strength capacity. No matter what age an individual is, they can experience significant strength improvement with progressive resistance exercise even into the eighth and ninth decades of life.”
In order to get best results and to reduce the risk of injury, it is essential that you learn how to perform resistance exercise properly. In order to be effective, you need to challenge yourself. In order to be safe, you need to minimize impact on your joints. Moving slowly makes your muscles work harder by reducing momentum and protects your joints by minimizing force. Proper form means you maintain appropriate positioning, breathing, and focus.
Proper exercise is more about quality than quantity. It is wonderful to be active, but it is essential to build a strong foundation that enables that activity. Understanding that distinction – and acting upon it by engaging in a regular exercise program – will prepare you for a long and healthy life!