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Strength Exercises for Seniors: Build Muscle, Increase Metabolism

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How Much Should I Exercise, and How Often?
  • Do strength exercises for all your major muscle groups at least twice a week, but vary the exercises so you don't work the same muscle group 2 days in a row.
  • Lift a minimum of weight the first week, then gradually build up the weight. Depending on your level of fitness, you can start with no weights. Starting with weights that are too heavy can cause injuries.
  • It's important to gradually add a challenging amount of weight in order to benefit from strength exercises. If you don't challenge your muscles, you won't get stronger. You can build up to using 1 or 2 pound weights as your strength grows and your body adapts to these strength exercises.
  • Take 3 seconds to lift or push a weight into place. Hold the position for 1 second, and take another 3 seconds to lower the weight. Don't let the weight drop -- lowering it slowly is very important.
  • It should feel somewhat hard for you to lift or push the weight. It should not feel very, very hard. If you can't lift or push a weight 8 times in a row, it's too heavy for you and you should reduce the amount of weight. If you can lift a weight more than 15 times in a row, it's too light for you. Increase the amount of weight.
  • Do 8 to 15 repetitions in a row. Wait a minute, then do another set of 8 to 15 repetitions in a row of the same exercise.

Note: While you are waiting to do the next set of reps, you might want to stretch the muscle you just worked, or do a different strength exercise that works a different set of muscles.

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