People strength train for a variety of reasons. Some lift weights to gain muscle and lose body fat. Others pump iron to improve their mood. Of course there are those who use weighted exercises to rehab an injury. The older population finds functional and quality of life benefits from hitting the gym on a regular basis. The lists of reasons for and benefits from “working out” seem endless. So why is it that sometimes people wait years before beginning a consistent training program? The answer Tracy and I hear from most of our newest clients is that they have waited until they had the time before taking the first step. Body Designs 220: Short Workouts Equals Long Term Benefits will explain why even the busiest person can benefit from the occasional but consistent visit to the weight room.
Iowa State University researchers conducted the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study which spanned more than 10 years and consisted of more than 10,000 adults. The purpose of this examination was to ascertain the benefits of anaerobic exercise independent of aerobic exercise on heart health.
While the American Heart Association has set guidelines for reducing heart health risks, DC (Duck-chul) Lee, associate professor of kinesiology and study head, found that just by lifting wights for less than an hour a week, the subjects reduced their risk for a heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70 percent.
Independent of aerobic exercise, participants who strength trained for less than an hour each week reduced their risk of heart disease by 29 percent. Their risk of hypercholesterolemia was reduced by 32 percent. “People may think they need to spend a lot of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than 5 minutes could be effective,” said Lee. Great news for those of you who tend to run a little or even a lot late for your appointments! You know who you are!!
All kidding aside, in this new year and for the rest of your life, don’t wait to hit the weights! The decision to put it off could be a matter of life and death.
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