What comes to mind when you hear the term “muscle building”? Bodybuilders, protein shakes and pumping iron, right? Nothing wrong with that, but building muscle is important for everyone, not just bodybuilders. In this post, Suzana De Pina, biokineticist at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA), tells us why.
She defines strength as the ability of a muscle to exert force. Higher levels of muscular strength are associated with a significantly better cardiovascular and metabolic risk profile and a lower risk of developing physical limitations.
As you age, there is an associated loss in muscle mass and this is known as sarcopenia. This decline begins at the age of 25 and continues throughout our lives. This has negative health-related consequences as it can reduce your ability to perform daily activities. Strength training cannot prevent age-related muscle loss but it can help you maintain a much higher level of muscular strength compared to someone who is sedentary.
Practical tips for incorporating strength training into your exercise routine
- Train each major muscle group, and allow 48 hours before training the same muscle group again.
- Use body-weight exercises, free weights such as dumbbells or kettlebells, weight machines or elastic bands.
- Do 8-12 repetitions to improve strength, depending on your age and training goal.
If you burn 300 calories in a session, while wearing your fitness tracking device, you will get an active day. 1 active day equals 1 point. The more points you get, the higher your status and the better your rewards.