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Resistance Training: A Simple Workout to Strengthen Muscles, Part 1 of 2

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Muscle mass starts to decline around the age of 30, at a rate of 3-5% per decade, and the elderly are at a greater risk for sarcopenia or muscle mass loss due to aging. Resistance training allows us to increase muscle mass, improve muscular strength and endurance, as well as boost our basal metabolic rate (BMR). Our BMR determines how many calories we burn when we are at rest. We must also be aware that when we fail to exercise our muscles, the cells tend to shrink or atrophy.

Resistance training also contributes to better control of diabetes, high blood pressure and hyperlipidemia. A joint study by the Harvard School of Public Health in the USA and Denmark’s University of Southern Denmark established that men performing 150 minutes of resistance training weekly may be able to lower their risk of type 2 diabetes by about 34%.

To benefit fully from a resistance training session, eating a vegan snack prior to and after a workout is recommended to give your body good fuel. Plant-based proteins are superior to those of animal sources as they offer abundant antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties; they are also much less acidic. Resistance training can be achieved through various types of equipment and routines such as free weights (dumbbells and barbells), weight machines, resistance tubes and the use of one’s own bodyweight. Here are some simple bodyweight exercises for absolute beginners: 1. Wall push-up: If you can’t do a standard push-up on the floor, start with a vertical one! This involves pushing against a wall while standing about 60 centimeters away from it. 2. Crunches: This is a classic and simple exercise to train the abdominal muscles.

Nowadays, numerous workout apps can assist you in training. For example, Fitbod is an excellent app for beginners. Fitbod offers instructions for every exercise segment, videos for reference, a “heat map” to visualize the impact of your exercise - all the while recording your progress after each workout. JEFIT presents an interesting feature that allows you to share your training program with others as well! Always begin your session with a few warm-ups before launching into the resistance training routines.
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