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About 20 Percent of U.S. Adults Perform Strength Training

Prevalence has increased but falls short of 2010 goal of 30 percent

TUESDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately 20 percent of men and women in the United States perform strength training at least twice a week to increase muscle strength and mass, an increase from previous years but far short of the 2010 goal of 30 percent, according to a report in the July 21 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey between 1998 and 2004 to determine the annual prevalence of strength training among adults in the United States by age group and by race or ethnicity.

Overall, 21.9 percent of men and 17.5 percent of women reported performing strength training at least twice a week in 2004. The prevalence of strength training was consistently lower among Hispanic respondents, the report indicates. The largest increase was observed in those aged 65 years or older, which CDC officials possibly attributed to better promotion of active lifestyles among older adults and programs that promote strength training.

"One of the most important barriers for many adults, regardless of racial/ethnic subgroup, is initiating a strength-training program. Including another person in the program, such as a coworker, spouse, neighbor or friend, can provide encouragement and motivation," according to the report. "The findings in this report also underscore the need to increase education on the benefits of strength training among targeted adult populations."

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