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Strength Training: Building Leg Muscles

Exercises for thighs and calves

Building leg muscles is vital to stability as we age

Not only will building leg muscles increase your resting metabolic rate, it also will increase the strength of a muscle group vital to stability.

“Data suggest that we have strength losses in our lower extremities that are greater than in our upper extremities,” says Chhanda Dutta, a scientist with the National Institute on Aging who studies the effect of exercise on older people. “From a functional standpoint, it’s important that anyone who does resistance training incorporate a variety of muscle groups, but especially in the lower extremities because leg and ankle strength are so important for balance and the prevention of falls.”

Everyone, no matter how sedentary or how old, can benefit from resistance training, according to Ben F. Hurley, PhD, professor of exercise physiology at the University of Maryland. “Within two months, we can reverse three to four decades of strength loss with strength training.”

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Reviewed on December 15, 2009

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