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
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.
"Repetitions" and "sets" are terms used to describe how many times
you do a specific exercise.
- Repetitions are the number of times you
continuously perform each exercise. For example, if you lift a dumbbell up and
down once, that's 1 repetition (or rep). If you lift it 5 times, that's 5
- Sets are the number of times you do a certain number of
repetitions. For example, if you lift the dumbbell 15 times, take a rest, and
then lift it another 15 times, you have done 2 sets of 15 reps each.