Maureen Auricchio- Staff Writer
Health and exercise are important at this age because our habits now will effect on our bodies and behavior 15 years from now. We all see the constant gym goers who lift heavy and have the muscle to show for it, yet to improve your bone health you do not need to lift heavy. Studies have shown that strength training at a low to moderate level can decrease your chances of bone degradation and can increase bone growth. Bone growth can occur anywhere in the body, it does not have to match the muscle you are training. Strength training has also been identified to aid in balance and coordination, which is important as we age, as this can prevent falls or fractures when we are much older. Bone strength peaks around age 30, then it is a slow decline.
Some important tips to strength training:
– If you have prior medical issues, check with your physician for the go ahead before participating in activities.
– Strength train two to three times a week with a day of rest in between each session.
– Train a muscle for a total of eight to 12 different exercises; do one or two sets for each exercise.
– Try lifting to a count of four and lowering to a count of four to prevent injury.
– Use the muscle you are training.
– Tighten your abs to protect your back from strain.
– If you reach a plateau you may need to increase weights, or maybe you are overtraining and need to take more rest days.
– Update yourself on what the American College of Sports terms correct and incorrect training, they make the rules all student athletes follow.