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Running is great cardio and also, Zen time, to get the heart pumping, get clarity, and just feel good. Those who aren’t runners just don’t get it and that’s okay.

Being a strong runner doesn’t happen with just running. It’s important to be diverse with your training, to help you continue to run into your later years and reduce injury, as well as aches and pains, in the process. Once we hit the age of 30, we end up losing anywhere from 3-8% of our lean body mass. Loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, Sarcopenia is a naturally occurring disease that is worth fighting against. It can actually be fun to fight against.

Strength training, resistance training, and body weight exercises, like push-ups, pull-ups, planks, lunges, and body weight squats are all great ways to help increase your lean body mass. They also help maintain not only muscle, but proteins to help your body’s overall strength and to boost your immune system. Our bodies need a balance of strength, flexibility, and mobility.

The take home message is that it’s important to make sure runners are balancing out their training with strength and flexibility. We all need strength training to help our longevity and independence. Our lean body mass (muscle) is a necessity for a strong and healthy life.

Have fun with trying a new class, or scheduling a personal training session! 

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Nate Yandow is a certified trainer, nutritionist, and the owner of Duke's Fitness Center.