United States

Why More People Should Do Muscle Strengthening Workouts

60 percent  of US adults fail to get the minimum amount of recommended muscle strengthening exercise, which may not be doing their bodies good.

According to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, public health guidelines recommend two or more muscle-strengthening exercise sessions a week,  but nearly 60 percent of the population do none at all. 

"People are definitely intimidated by the weight station.  In the old days, maybe ten years ago, ladies were not seen as often in the weight room because it was considered a male part of the gym," said Debi Lofstrand, Strength Program Coordinator at Neon Cycle and Strength, a boutique gym in Plano.

She believes few people lift weights because of misconceptions, like the fear some women have of "bulking up."

While cardio exercise will boost your cardiovascular health, among other things, the survey found people who performed regular strength training had more power and endurance, which improves metabolism, blood pressure, and bone density.

It even reduces anxiety.

They're all benefits Lofstrand says will stay with you well after your workout. 

"Muscle is more metabolically active so at rest, your body is still burning these calories, where as you don't get that with a cardio-only workout. You get that with a strength workout," said Lofstrand.

Australian researchers analyzed data on more than 397,000  American participants in a health survey.  

People who did not adhere tended to be older, female, overweight/obese, did less aerobic activity, had lower income and education, and rated their own health as poor. 

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