Strengthen and Define

There are myriad benefits to muscle building: It burns fat, helps maintain weight, strengthens bones, reduces stress, and improves confidence. Generally, strength training focuses on the major muscle groups by completing 1 or 2 sets of 8–12 repetitions 2–3 days each week. But before you jump into the gym, mind these muscle matters:

  • First things first: Check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
  • Get a personal trainer: Gym equipment isn’t complicated, but a little instruction will help you get started right. Have a professional help you navigate the weight room. They’ll also demonstrate proper form so you’ll avoid muscle tears and joint damage.
  • Warm up, cool down… rest: Completing 5–10 minutes of low–impact exercise — before and after each training session — will cut down on injuries and condition your muscles for future workouts. It’s also important to rest; give each muscle group at least 48 hours off between strength training sessions.
  • Use common sense: Challenge yourself, but don’t lift more than you can handle. If you feel any muscle strain, stop the exercise and take a break. And don’t forget to breathe.

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