Muscle fitness is one of three important types of overall physical
fitness. The others are aerobic fitness and flexibility.
When you increase your muscle fitness,
you'll notice that you can carry heavy grocery bags more
easily, pick up children without feeling as much strain, or carry heavy items
longer before you get too tired to continue.
of muscle fitness include:
- Stronger muscles, which also help protect your
- Muscles that can work longer before getting
- Less body fat.
- Stronger bones.
- Better posture and balance.
- Lower blood
- Less stress.
- Fewer body aches.
- More energy.
How do you get healthier muscles?
Muscles become stronger when they are used regularly, but
especially when they have to work against something. This is called
For example, you use your arm
muscles when you bend your arm at the elbow. But when you do the same movement
with something heavy in your hand, your arm muscles are working against more
"Resistance training" means using
things like weights, rubber tubing, or certain exercises to make your muscles
stronger. It's a 3-step process:
- Stress. When you exercise against
resistance, you stress your muscles slightly but not to the point of serious
damage or injury.
- Recovery (rest). When you rest, your body
rebuilds the muscles and the connective tissues between them (joints, tendons,
and ligaments) in a way that prepares them for the next time they will be
- Repeated stress. When you stress the same
muscles again, the process is repeated, and the muscles gradually become
A resistance-training program to increase muscle fitness
- such as push-ups,
, and other common exercises.
- Weight training with free weights ("dumbbells") or
weight-training equipment. See a picture of
- Doing heavy housework and yard work, such as scrubbing the bathtub,
washing walls, tilling the garden, or pulling weeds, on a regular basis.
How can you strengthen your core?
of muscle fitness is strengthening the muscles of your
trunk. This is called
stability benefits everyone, from older people to top professional athletes.
It can help you have better posture and balance, and it can help protect
you from injury.
- Fitness: Increasing Core Stability
How often should you do exercises to strengthen
Experts say it's best to
do exercises to strengthen muscles at least 2 times each
week.1 Examples include weight
training or stair climbing on 2 or more days that are not in a row.