Strength training is the best way to build and maintain healthy muscle. While cardiovascular exercise is an important part of your fitness program, maximizing lean muscle should be the the foundation of your exercise routine. Strength training is important because around the age of 40 you start to experience muscle loss. "If you don't do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you'll increase the percentage of fat in your body," says Dr. Edward Laskowski, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Left unabated, you can lose up to 10 pounds of muscle each decade starting at age 40.
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