LIVE LONG, LIVE WELL by Jodi Cornelio: Strength training makes a difference

By Jodi Cornelio

Recent studies have proven that after the age of 30 your body begins to lose muscle mass at a rate of 3 to 5 percent each decade.
The good news is you don’t have to kill yourself or become a body builder to maintain the youthful muscle you had or have in your 30s.
It takes two strength-training sessions per week to maintain lean muscle mass and keep you looking fit.

You can do this by working with a personal trainer, picking up a strength training class at your local health club or getting yourself a set of dumbbells and some good music while working out in the comfort of your home. Really heavy weight is not necessary. You do want to make sure each 40-minute session includes every muscle group. A quick strength training fix for me includes:
* Marching in place or walking fast/running up and down my stairs for 5 to 10 minutes to warm up my body.
* First, I focus on the larger muscles groups which, of course, end up being my butt. Please note: “Aside from the heart, everyone’s largest muscle group is their butt (glutes) not just mine.” 🙂 For one whole song — approximately three minutes — I perform squats and lunges with dumbbells held in place on my shoulders.
* Second, I focus on upper and lower back by doing dead lifts, knees slightly bent, and rows for another three-minute song.
* Third, I work the shoulder with upright rows and overhead presses for another three minutes song.
* Fourth, I focus on the chest by lying on my back and doing bench presses alternating those with push-ups mid-song.
* Fifth, I work my triceps by staying on my back and doing overhead triceps rows, triceps reverse curls and dips on my stairs for another three-minute song.
* Sixth, back up on my feet, I continue with overhand bicep curls, changing to underhand mid-song for another three minutes.
* I finish up with a demanding ab routine of crunches; leg lifts, Pilates moves for the entire core like planks, which eat up at least six minutes — so a couple songs.
* Last, but certainly not least, I conclude the workout with a relaxing series of stretch-and-hold moves for every muscle group, and I make sure I sit and meditate for five minutes before jumping into the rest of my day.
This 40-minute routine is both easy and rewarding; if performed twice a week, you should have no problem maintaining your 30-year-old muscle mass.
Live long live well.weights photo