Strength and Power Training Essential Component of Exercise Regimen
Libraries
Medical News Keywords
HARVARD, MEDICAL, EXERCISE, STRENGTH, POWER, HEALTH
Contact Information

Available for logged-in reporters only
Description

Many Americans who exercise are skipping a crucial component of a successful regimen: strength and power training. A new report addresses the importance of this activity in promoting and maintaining strong muscles.



Newswise - The benefits of a well-balanced exercise program cannot be understated. But many Americans who exercise are skipping a crucial component of a successful regimen: strength and power training. A new report from Harvard Medical School, Strength and Power Training: A Guide for All Ages, addresses the importance of this activity in promoting and maintaining strong muscles.

Muscle tissue, bone density, and strength dwindle over time. This decline can lead to physical injuries and debilitating fractures, which when added to the aging process can compromise an independent and active life. Strength training helps to slow and possibly reverse muscle decline. Strong muscles don't offer just muscle-related benefits. They can lighten the heart's workload, aid in promoting good cholesterol, and help prevent diabetes by improving blood sugar control.

It's never too late for people of all ages to incorporate strength and power training into an exercise program. For beginners, here are some tips to help get started:

* It's best to do strength training two to three times a week when you first begin.
* Always allow at least 48 hours for muscles to recover between strength training workouts.
* A complete strength training workout typically includes 2-3 sets (of 8-12 repetitions per set) of approximately 8-12 exercises that combined work the major muscle groups.
* Once you understand exactly how to do each exercise, choose weights that allow you to do only 8-12 repetitions.
* Before attempting a specific exercise, it's essential to learn the proper form, or technique, because poor form can cause injuries and slow gains.
* Any time you exercise you should begin by warming up for 5-10 minutes and end by cooling down for another 5-10 minutes.

Strength and Power Training also offers advice on how to start and maintain a successful routine including choosing the right strength training equipment; directions for specific strength and power training exercises (with illustrations); safety issues and tips for avoiding injury; designing a program that outlines frequency, form, and intensity; and defining workout goals and charting progress.

Strength and Power Training is available from Harvard Health Publications and can be purchased for $16 at http://www.health.harvard.edu or by calling 1-877-649-9457 toll-free.



About Harvard Health Publications
Harvard Health Publications, a division of Harvard Medical School publishes five monthly newsletters-Harvard Health Letter, Harvard Women's Health Watch, Harvard Men's Health Watch, Harvard Mental Health Letter, and Harvard Heart Letter-as well as more than 40 Special Health Reports and eight books. The goal of all of our publications is to bring the public the most current practical and authoritative health information by drawing on the expertise of the 8,000 faculty physicians at the Harvard Medical School and its world-famous affiliated hospitals. For more information about our publications, please visit our Web site, http://www.health.harvard.edu.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

© 2003 Newswise. All Rights Reserved.