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Week 4 wellness challenge: Bills assistant trainer says hit the gym

WNY Refresh asked Dan LiBurd, strength and conditioning assistant and nutritionist with the Buffalo Bills, to provide a weekly tip through mid-November to help you get healthier heading into the holidays and boost your odds to win prizes as part of the Independent Health and Buffalo Bills Health & Wellness Challenge.

The challenge runs through Nov. 16 and those who participate will get the chance to win autographed Bills wear and a trip to the Super Bowl Feb. 1 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Here’s how it works:

  • Exercise three times a week for at least 30 minutes each time
  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily
  • Drink eight glasses of water a day

More than 2,000 people have registered so far and you can do so if you haven’t already at buffalobills.com/thechallenge

All Western New Yorkers age 18 and over are eligible to compete.

Click here to read a story from WNY Refresh about what the Bills have to teach fans about fitness and nutrition.

Here’s this week’s tip from LiBurd:

Improvements in both performance and health also come from an appreciation for resistance training.

You don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of resistance training. And there are plenty of benefits. Resistance training helps improve efficiency in movement, body composition and the ability to produce force. Researchers have also shown that resistance training may positively affect risk factors associated with diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Simply adding a weight training session as part of your weekly plan can improve important health characteristics including blood sugar, resting metabolic rate, insulin resistance and your ability to metabolize fuel such as glucose.

Focus on a resistance program that challenges both your lower body and upper body through compound exercises such as (but not limited to) squats, deadlifts, pull-ups and pushups, as well single-leg and core stability exercises.

Be sure to also incorporate movements and or exercises that challenge power or speed, as research shows lean mass, strength and power decline at an increased rate as we age. For all of you who are now entering the 30 club, consider this fact: Adults begin losing muscle mass in their mid-30s and by the time they reach 75 years of age have lost on average 50 percent of their total muscle mass. This phenomenon is better known as sarcopenia. To prevent against it, resistance training is a must.  Here at One Bills drive, our players are heavily involved in a complex and individualized strength program that focuses on maintaining or increasing their lean mass.

Focus on a resistance training program that targets major muscle groups in your upper and lower body. Aim for 30-minute sessions, working at a moderate to moderately intensive rate at least twice a week.

Researchers have demonstrated that virtually all the benefits of resistance training are likely to be obtained in two 15- to 20-minute training sessions a week.

Don’t wait! Start today. Once you’ve finished reading Refresh, perform two to three sets of pushups then set a goal to incorporate resistance training as part of your weekly plan. Record your goal and the number of pushups you performed and shoot for better next week.

email: refresh@buffnews.com

Twitter: @BNrefresh  

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