We all know by now how important physical activity is for both our physical and mental/emotional health. After all, that’s WHY we exercise, right? It’s not just about aesthetics; we are hitting the gym, pounding the pavement, and pumping iron to be healthy.
And speaking of “pumping iron,” why is strength training so important?
As we age, yes, we all do – you can’t get out of it this time, or ever – our bodies naturally begin to lose muscle mass. Starting at about age 30, both lean muscle mass and strength begin to decrease at a rate of three to eight after every decade. Less strength and muscle mass in the body leads to fragility, falls and injury, loss of bone density with an increased risk of osteoporosis, increased blood glucose levels (Type II Diabetes), and decreased metabolism.
But the idea of “strength training” can illicit images of greased up, tanned bodybuilders, skinny bikinis, and just lots of bulging veins and “bigness” for some of us. Rest assured, the images of those athletes we are seeing are from professionals who have to work really, really, really, really hard to achieve those muscles, and most of us simply don’t have the time, energy, or desire for any of that. And, with the fear of not having enough time or energy to get the iron pumped, most of us tend to fall into the “what the heck effect” mindset, and forget about (ignore) the importance of strength all together.
Well, not having a gym membership or heavy things to lift at home is no longer an excuse. Simply 60 seconds, eventually 60 minutes, two times a week of “total body strengthening” can have a drastic effect on your overall health and wellbeing in just 60 days. Wowza!
Why does this mean we no longer have an excuse to skip out?
Total body workouts DO NOT have to been done in a formal setting. In fact, using your own body as weight proves to be just as beneficial as slugging around the dumbbells. Things like push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, wall sits, and planks are all doable all day, any day, anywhere.
So, why are we doing this again?
Research shows at least five healthy benefits of regular strength training to include:
- Increased Muscle Mass and Metabolic Rate (this is a really good thing)
- Increased Bone Strength (another great thing)
- Better Stability and Proprioception (again, good for us)
- Improved Daily Activities and Energy Levels (of course, wonderful)
- Lowered Blood Pressure and Improved Heart Health (yes!)
Thus, we no longer have any excuses. It’s that easy. Dig down deep and decide to increase your inner strength.