September 28, 2018
Eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep are central to our overall health. As we age, strength training is also vital to help maintain and build muscle mass.
A recent ‘Maine Calling’ program devoted to this topic on Maine Public featured a panel made up entirely of experts with ties to UNE.
Graduates Kate Foley, M.S., ’08 (Applied Exercise Science) and Lyndie Kelley, B.S. ’11 (Applied Exercise Science), coordinator of Strength and Conditioning at UNE, joined Heath Pierce, M.Ed., RSCC*D, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D, ACSM EP-C, associate clinical professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Performance, for the discussion.
The three goals of strength training are to build muscular fitness, strength and endurance. Pierce says there are many tools we can use for this form of conditioning.
“You can use your body weight as resistance,” he explained. “You can lift external weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells, machine weights, or we can use bands and pulleys. There’s a whole host of things we can manipulate to reach those goals.”
According to a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 20 percent of Americans over 18 are meeting the guidelines for both aerobic and strength training.
When respondents were divided by age and gender, the percentage of those exercising decreased with age. A smaller percentage of women were strength training than men across every age group.
Kelley says the key to get people to exercise as they age is to start them when they are young.
“Think about lifelong fitness,” she stated. “Lay out those habits for young people. We want to make sure we set that pattern in place with young adult athletes, like the ones we work with at University of New England.”
Kelley is responsible for athletic performance enhancement for all 17 of UNE's Division III varsity sports.