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Research and Background about Strength Training

Scientific research has shown that exercise can slow the physiological aging clock. While aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, or swimming, has many excellent health benefits-it maintains the heart and lungs and increases cardiovascular fitness and endurance-it does not make your muscles strong. Strength training does. Studies conducted in our exercise physiology laboratory at the Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University have shown that lifting weights two or three times a week increases strength by building muscle mass and bone density.

One 12-month study that we conducted on postmenopausal women at Tufts University demonstrated 1% gains in hip and spine bone density, 75% increases in strength and 13% increases in dynamic balance with just two days per week of progressive strength training. The control group had losses in bone, strength and balance. Strength training programs can also have a profound effect on reducing risk for falls, which translates to fewer fractures.

Tufts Nutrition