Strength Training Exercise

Strength training or resistance exercise provides health benefits not observed in some aerobic activities. It helps to increase bone strength and muscular fitness. Strength training includes both muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities. Muscle-strengthening activities like lifting weights preserve and increase muscle mass, strength and power, and can also help you maintain lean body mass during weight loss and intermittent fasting! This kind of activity causes the body’s muscles to work or hold against an applied force or weight. The U.S. Department of Health recommends that you do some muscle-building exercise at least 2 days per week, aiming to hit all of the major muscle groups including the legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms. Set a goal of doing 2-3 rounds of a given muscle-building exercise with 8-12 repetitions each (for example, 3 sets of 10 squats). Check out this exercise library by ACE that provides examples of by muscle group that you can use to put together your own strength training workouts! Warm up with some walking, light stretching or light yoga poses before your strength training exercise. What counts?

  • Lifting weights (see example exercises here)
  • Working with resistance bands
  • Body weight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, lunches, squats and planks (see examples here)
  • Carrying heavy loads
  • Heavy gardening
  • Strength-building yoga
  • Rock climbing

Need guidance on strength training? We recommend the following devices and apps to help you get started.