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What do you do for exercise? Walk, jog, ride a bike outdoors, or use the cardio machines at your gym?  Or maybe you take a group exercise class like Spinning or yoga.

If you’re only making time for a cardio workout, you’re missing out on the benefits of improving your muscular fitness through weight training or resistance training. Just look what can happen if you make a regular date with some dumbbells, barbells, or weight machines…or even condition your muscles using just your body weight:

#1 You can increase bone density. (You won’t get bulky muscles but you will have stronger bones to reduce your risk of fractures later in life.)

#2 You can burn more calories. Having more lean tissue (muscle) raises metabolism so you burn several more calories every hour, no matter what you’re doing.

#3 You can look better. Resistance training helps trim and shape your body – less fat, more definition.

#4 You can feel better. Studies show this form of exercise (like other forms) can lift your mood and reduce your anxiety.

#5 You can improve your strength and balance as well as your posture – critical to have at any age for daily living.

#6 You can improve your athleticism. Weight training can boost sports performance, making you more powerful.

#7 You can lower your blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends two days of resistance training per week.

If you don’t know how to get started, ask a fitness professional!