Aerobic exercise is vital for your heart and lungs. But by itself, it won't keep you fit. You have to balance it with a full-body workout targeting all the muscle groups in your body. If you don't, the body's natural tendency to replace muscle with fat as you age will undermine your health.

Strength training uses resistance methods such as free weights, weight machines, resistance bands or a person's own weight to build muscles and strength.

Here are a few other benefits of strength training from the Mayo Clinic:

Increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

Helps your body burn calories more efficiently - which can result in weight loss.

Reduces your risk of injury, by protecting joints and helping maintain flexibility and balance.

Boosts stamina, and fights fatigue and insomnia.

Improves self-confidence, improves body image and reduces the risk of depression.

Helps manage chronic conditions, reducing the signs and symptoms of arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.

To get started, first get your doctor's OK. Warm up with five to 10 minutes of stretching or gentle aerobic activity, such as walking, says Tilton Fitness Training Director Paul Brones. "Warming up increases the core temperature and blood flow, and gets the body ready for movement," he said.

Then, do two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions of the exercises here, resting between each set. "If you can do the second set right away, you're not using a heavy enough weight," Brones said. Beginners can start with 5-pound weights, or even lighter.

To give your muscles time to recover, take the next day off.

Two to three, 1-hour strength-training sessions per week are sufficient for most people. Noticeable improvement in strength and stamina can come in just a few weeks. With regular strength training, dramatic results can happen in three to six months.

To see the full one-hour workout, watch the video online at www.pressofatlanticcity.com

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

609-272-7219