February Fit Tip #7: Pump iron

Dumbbells aren’t just for body builders!

Muscle strengthening exercises are an integral part of every fitness program, regardless of gender, shape or size. In fact, after the age of 30, your muscles mass begin to decrease in size and strength. If you do nothing to replace that lean muscle mass, then fat will take its place. In addition to looking leaner, muscle strengthening exercises speed up your metabolism, make your bones stronger and help you sleep better, too.

There are a number of ways you can strengthen your muscles, including free weights, machine weights and body weights (e.g., push-ups, pull-ups, crunches). Don’t hesitate to ask someone for help if you’re not sure what you’re doing, and warm-up before you lift to avoid a potential injury. For even more information on this topic, check out another post I wrote on pumping it up!

Move #7: As you start to schedule your exercise each week, be sure to designate one or two days for strength building. If you don’t feel adequately educated to do this for yourself, reach out to friends, trainers at your gym, or even call a personal trainer, if the budget allows. This is a component of your fitness that shouldn’t be denied!

Melinda Hinson