Does strength training help your heart and lungs?

Strength Training Tips and Cautions for All Ages

You now know that strength training increases heart and lung health, and you know that it helps people lose weight fast. So where do you start?

No matter your age, choose a workout plan that meets these basic criteria:

  • Take a day off between weight training days. Shoot for training three times per week to start so that your muscles completely recover between sessions.
  • Include a warm-up in your routine, like brisk walking or jogging on a treadmill, riding a bike or using an elliptical machine for about 10 minutes.
  • Don't overdo it. For beginners, 20 to 30 minutes is a good place to start [source: Mayo Clinic].
  • Cool down with at least five to 10 minutes of stretching at the end of your workout.

Growing teens should be extra careful when strength training. Here are some precautions:

  • Bones, muscles, joints and tendons are still growing, so don't overdo it. If you start to feel sharp pains or your muscles make a popping sound, reduce intensity immediately. In these cases, talk to a professional trainer.
  • When lifting heavy weights make sure that a spotter is nearby so that you don't drop a free weight and injure yourself in the process.
  • Peer pressure can play a role in strength training as in many other teen activities. Steroid use is widespread among teens who misunderstand or ignore the damage it can do. Avoid experimenting with steroids so that you won't endure long-term repercussions like heart disease, cancer and sterility.

The key to strength training in older adults is a deliberate, constant routine. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Consult a doctor before starting a workout regimen.
  • Take it slow and don't hurry through the exercises.
  • Be consistent with your routine.

Read on to learn about exercises that don't require a weight room.