Why Get Stronger? Now?
According to the CDC (U. S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention), “Research has shown that strengthening exercises are both safe and effective for women and men of all ages, including those who are not in perfect health. In fact, people with health concerns - including heart disease or arthritis - often benefit the most from an exercise program that includes lifting weights a few times each week ... As you grow older, it can be very powerful in reducing the signs and symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain, depression.”
For bone strength and balance, strength training for just two days a week produced “1% gains in hip and spine bone density, 75% increases in strength and 13% increases in dynamic balance ... [for] reducing risk for falls, which translates to fewer fractures”. CDC
"Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger... The best exercise for your bones is the weight-bearing kind, which forces you to work against gravity. Some examples of weight-bearing exercises include weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing." National Institutes of Health
December 3, 2012. Better Cheaper Stronger for $28. A set of resistance tubes that weigh next to nothing and take up next to no space. They let you "weight train" without weights. Perfect for anybody who can't stand lifting weights. Like me.
So I use resistance tubes. Big elastic bands with handles. Their elasticity lets you stretch them, but their elasticity in the other direction - contraction - resists your effort to keep them stretched out. As far as your muscles are concerned, they'll provide just as much resistance as weights; they just use a different force. Personally, I prefer the feel of pulling and stretching to the feel of resisting the force of gravity by lifting pieces of heavy metal.
Drop a resistance tube on your foot and you won't feel it. Won't quite fit in a pocket but packs easily when you realize you don't want to take a long trip without one.
We all begin to lose muscle mass by the age of 30. But we don't have to lose strength. Better Cheaper Stronger means you get stronger. Not like Arnold. Just stronger. Stronger than you are now. So that you can do a lot of things more easily and comfortably - no strains, no injuries, no grunts, no embarrassment.
If you've never seen a resistance tube, Press Play. Then get one for yourself. And somebody else. They might need a BCS Gift Subscription to go with theirs.
The whole Better Cheaper Slower Gift Guide
Every Thing Is Everything
For burning calories, muscle is better than fat. Three to five times better. People who completed a 16-week strength training program at Tufts University increased their resting metabolic (calorie-burning) rate by 15%. That’s an additional 200 – 300 calories burned every day while you’re doing ... nothing. Of course, you’ll burn additional calories while you’re doing your strength exercises.
"Results showed that most people were gaining weight gradually over time, with the average American adult gaining 1 to 2 lb per year ... relatively small changes in energy intake and expenditure adding up to 100 kcal/day could arrest excess weight gain in most people." Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Yup, knocking off 100 calories a day is enough to prevent weight gain for most of us. That's a brisk 15-minute walk - or a few sets of Better Cheaper Stronger exercises.
For preventing and managing diabetes, “strength training produced dramatic improvements in glucose control that are comparable to taking diabetes medication. Additionally, the study volunteers were stronger, gained muscle, lost body fat, had less depression, and felt much more self-confident”.