Being strong is good—and you don’t have to bulk up, unless you want to. People begin losing muscle mass at age 30. By age 70, you’ll have lost approximately 25 percent of the muscle mass you had at age 30. Using your muscles now prevents age-related muscle wasting (sarcopenia).
Strength training—working your muscles—helps your body respond to its insulin, better use the glucose from food as energy (rather than for fat storage), and lowers your risk of heart disease. Especially during National Diabetes Awareness Month this November, keep in mind that strength training is a great health booster—whether you’re already living with diabetes or aim to avoid developing type 2 diabetes.
A few myths
Strength training decreases flexibility. Not true. When starting a strength training program, you may notice slight decrease in range of motion, most likely because you haven’t been actively working your muscles. This is temporary; strength training improves flexibility.
Faster is better. Not true. Form and control are important. Depending on your workout, it’s OK to move quickly and in rapid succession through moves. Just be sure you control the movement.
A gym is needed. Not true. Sure, free weights and resistance machines are great for working your muscles. But you also can do strength training using the weight of your own body (think pushups) or resistance bands.
Want to start, refresh, or enhance your strength routine? Your Vida health coach is ready to help!