A recent study published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that the number of adults who strength train two or more times per week increased from 17.7% in 1998 to 19.6% in 2004. Although this increase is significant, it is far below the 30% by 2010 objective set by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the CDC.

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) actively promotes the education and awareness of the benefits of strength training for people of all ages and backgrounds. Research has proven that individuals who engage in strength training on a regular and prolonged basis can increase their overall physical health. Because the NSCA recognizes the importance for adults of all ages to consider some form of physical activity, the NSCA has created a statement outlining the health aspects of strength training and exercise.

It is the NSCA's position that strength training may enhance cardiovascular health by mitigating several of the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. Strength training may result in improvements in body composition by maintaining or increasing lean body mass and producing modest decreases in the relative percentage of body fat. Strength training can produce increases in bone mineral density and may help delay or prevent the development of osteoporosis by reducing the age-associated loss of bone mineral density.

Research has shown that strength training may reduce anxiety and depression and may result in improved self-efficacy and overall psychological well-being. Strength training can reduce the risk of injury during participation in sports and activities and can increase muscular strength and endurance, resulting in an increased ability to perform activities of daily living, and reduces demands on musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and metabolic systems. The NSCA has many resources available to help educate adult populations about the benefits of strength training. Individuals interested in learning more about the benefits of strength training will find a variety of resources at the NSCA's Web site www.nsca-lift.org.

It is important that individuals learn how to safely incorporate strength training into their workouts. Working with certified professionals is one way for active adults to accomplish this. The NSCA Certification Commission, the certifying agency for the NSCA, offers two certifications for professionals in the fields of strength training and conditioning and personal training.

The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) credential identifies individuals who possess the knowledge and skills to design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs for athletes in a team setting. The NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT® ) credential was created for professionals who work one-on-one with their clients in a variety of environments, including health/fitness clubs, wellness centers, schools and clients' homes. The credential identifies fitness professionals who possess the knowledge and skills that are necessary to successfully train both active and sedentary physically healthy individuals, as well as individuals with special needs.

The CSCS and NSCA-CPT exams focus on the "real-world" responsibilities of personal trainers and strength and conditioning professionals. The exams have been validated; this process signifies that individuals are tested over the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to be competent in their respective professional career areas. The CSCS and NSCA-CPT credentials are the only fitness-related credentials to be accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) for more than 10 years.

About the NSCA
The National Strength and Conditioning Association is the leading authority on strength and conditioning. For more than 28 years, the NSCA has bridged science and application to provide reliable, research-based, strength and conditioning information to its members and the general public. With 33,000 members worldwide, the NSCA is the largest health and fitness association in the world. For more information on NSCA professional journals, cutting-edge conferences, educational text and videos, or other services, visit the web site at www.nsca-lift.org.

About the NSCA Certification Commission
The NSCA Certification Commission, the certifying agency for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, offers two credentials for fitness professionals. The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) certifications are considered the Credentials of Distinction in the strength training and conditioning and personal training professions. The NSCA Certification Commission is the only fitness-related organization to offer credentials nationally accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) since 1993.


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