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Healthy adults should lift weight twice a week, says new UK exercise guidelines

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Weight training and strength exercises are important regimes which help a great deal in perfecting your body and improving muscle mass. However, lifting weight is mostly thought of as a gym lover’s exercise and not something that should be incorporated by people into their routines. This is one myth everyone needs to stop believing. Twenty or 55, man or woman, lifting weights is a healthy exercise for everyone.

And now, newly released fitness guidelines lay stress on the same, adding that all healthy adults should ideally lift weights twice a week to stay fit, delay ageing and prevent bone and muscle breakdown. The latest guidelines issued by the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines says that one should engage in weight training to maintain strength.

The medical board also gave examples of the different ways weight training can be incorporated into a person’s lifestyle. Tasks and activities could include anything from lifting weights, using resistance machines, heavy gardening, carrying heavy shopping, and holding young children. Doctors say that the exercises should be repeated or continued until the muscles feel temporarily “tired out” and you take a pause to rest.

For those over the age of 60, the guidelines also mentioned adding varied forms of exercises into the routine and not limiting physical activity to simple exercises like walking to stay fit and healthy. Senior citizens should include some form of exercise in the form of playing bowls, go dancing or practice tai-chi to maintain strength, balance, flexibility and improve mobility.

The suggested exercises can also work toward decreasing the risk of falls and sudden injuries, which are a major contributor to injuries in older people. In fact, these exercises also help a great deal in reducing the severity of risks and diseases and even improve mental health, which too, is at risk of slowing down after an age. Doctors also added:

“Physical activity plays a changing role in the lives of older adults, as for some it becomes more about the maintenance of independence and the management of symptoms of a disease, rather than primary disease prevention. By keeping active, both throughout the day and also through hobbies, we can slow muscle and bone decline, ultimately keeping us independent for longer.”

In addition to the recommended exercises, the guidelines also laid stress on the many negative effects of sitting all day long, even for those who meet the requisite quota for daily exercise. The study also squashed some myths about the limitations of physical activity for those dealing with disabilities.

“Adults with or without a disability can experience the same benefits from exercise, the guidelines say, adding that “any myths about the physical activity being inherently harmful to disabled people should be dispelled.”

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