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November 2013

Strength- A New Vital Sign of Your Health

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During 2013, I have written several articles focusing on muscle as a risk factor. Interestingly, during 2013 many research articles have been published on how muscle breaks down during activity, on how to rebuild the muscle and, most importantly, what we can do as we age to prevent the loss of muscle.

The good news is that many professional organizations now recognize that muscle is critical to our health. In fact, Dr. Paul Terpeluk, Chief Medical Officer of Occupational Health with the Cleveland Clinic views strength as the new vital sign of workforce health. Dr. Terpeluk’s view is a strong endorsement of the importance of maintaining a healthy and strong muscle mass. When we think of vital signs we think heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure. Placing strength in the category of a vital sign shows how critical it is to every day life.

Professionally trained and certified personal trainers are an integral component of promoting a strong and healthy muscle mass to their clients. If you are unsure about how to get started with strength training on your own, then we encourage you to search the internet for a certified personal trainer in your area. Many of the organizations, such as ACSM, NSCA or ACE that certify these individuals have databases of personal trainers and you can find them just by doing a search using your zip code.

Staying strong is not a difficult task. It does require time but it does not require a lot of specialized and costly equipment. A personal trainer can show you many ways to improve your strength simply by using your own body weight.

The evidence is clear that those who maintain a strong and healthy muscle mass are healthier and more productive individuals. As 2013 comes to a close, it is a good time to resolve, for 2014, to make achieving a healthy body weight and maintaining muscle mass a priority.