Strengthening Exercises and Why They Are Important

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A strengthening exercise is one that works your muscles harder than usual. It has many benefits as it can reduce the risk of arthritis and osteoporosis, it helps with back problems and postural issues. It increases your muscles strength, power and endurance. It is advised by the NHS that you should be doing strengthening exercises two times a week.

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Examples of strengthening exercises include: yoga, tai chi, cycling, climbing stairs, squats, lifting weights, heavy gardening, dance or hill walking. For an activity to be muscle strengthening you may may need to take a short rest before continuing as this shows that it is working your muscles. Strengthening exercises help maintain the ability to perform day to day tasks and slow down the rate of muscle and bone loss that is linked to ageing.

If you are at high risk of falls or fractures then staying active will help to reduce the risk and help to improve stamina, balance and strength. You may be worried that you may fall again whilst doing exercises, so start with gentle exercises and work up from there as if you stop moving all together then you will slowly lose your strength and balance. The recommended exercises if you’re at risk include: strength training exercises, flexibility exercises, walking, stair climbing. There are some tutorials what you can watch on the NHS website which can help you. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/strength-exercises/

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It is a good idea to do activities that work all major muscle groups such as your legs, hips, chest, shoulders, arms or abdomen. There isn’t a certain time limit, however there are hundreds of workouts online to follow and with different levels of difficulty. You should be aiming to do 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise plus the two days of strengthening exercises. You can follow these tutorials to help you and remember have fun exercising! https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/?tabname=strength-and-resistance