How Much, How Often
Try to do strength exercises for all of your major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week for 30-minute sessions each, but don’t exercise the same muscle group on any 2 days in a row.
- Depending on your condition, you might need to start out using 1- or 2-pound weights or no weight at all.
- Use a light weight the first week and then gradually add more weight. You need to challenge your muscles to get the most benefit from strength exercises.
- It should feel somewhere between hard and very hard for you to lift or push the weight. If you can’t lift or push a weight 8 times in a row, it’s too heavy.
- Take 3 seconds to lift or push a weight into place, hold the position for 1 second, and take another 3 seconds to return to your starting position. Return the weight slowly; don’t let it drop.
Gradually increase the amount of weight you use to build strength. Start out with a weight you can lift only 8 times. Use that weight until you can lift it easily 10 to 15 times. When you can do 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions easily, add more weight so that, again, you can lift it only 8 times. Repeat until you reach your goal.