Like we mentioned last week, changes don’t happen overnight! But with guidance and consistency you will find that it’s easier to get started and continue making healthy choices. When we say that consistency is key, we mean it– healthy habits turn into lifestyle changes and long-term lifestyle change is where we discover optimal well-being.
In moving forward, we will tackle resistance training and its link to a happier and healthier mind. The physical benefits of exercise is a common topic for discussion. There is no doubt that the human body NEEDS us to be active. Yet, we rarely talk about the deep truth associated with the human MIND’s need for us to move more and to do it intentionally. As you will surmise from the lists below, it’s worth the investment!
Resistance training creates a number of physical benefits including:
- make your bones stronger and produces greater mobility and flexibility
- burns calories more efficiently and helps manage blood sugar levels
- decreases abdominal fat and improves heart health
- reduces your risk of falls and risk of injury
That, in and of itself, is powerful! But, if we can couple those benefits with significant mental health benefits…resistance training becomes a “no-brainer” and a simple way to improve emotional well-being!
- improved memory and cognition
- enhanced executive control
- may alleviate effects of depression, anxiety, and chronic fatigue
- better self-esteem
- higher quality of sleep
Last week we covered the hormones released when you exercise, so visit Emotional Well-being and Exercise if you need a refresher! What we would like to share with you are specific action steps to get you lifting weights, whether you have experience with dumbbells or no experience at all. As always, discuss any new exercise regimens with your doctor to determine what’s best for where you are now and for where you want to be. Our wellness coaches on staff are also available to help you get connected with a plan that works for you and your life!
- Buy a light set of dumbbells (2-5lbs) to keep at your work desk. Even if you can’t get up from your desk to walk during the day, you can include 2-3 sets of 3-4 seated exercises to engage your muscles and your mind. See these form videos, demonstrated by a LIVESTRONG certified Personal Trainer, for bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, overhead presses, and front raises to get you started!
- Prioritize progressive overload in your resistance training plan. Progressive overload is not as intimidating as it seems, simply push yourself to complete more reps, lift heavier weight, or take shorter breaks within your workout every week or two. If you need more guidance, consider hiring a personal trainer to develop breaks, rep ranges, and progressions for you.
- Start small and dream big. Whether you are new to resistance training or low on time, the great thing about committing to an active lifestyle is that you can change how often or how long you exercise for! Break your workout into three 10-15 minute sessions. If you are on vacation, commit to two scheduled workout days and limit yourself to 30 minutes each. Incorporate full body workouts, push/pull days, upper body/lower body splits, or specific muscle group focuses to your routine. On days or weeks your schedule is more flexible, spend more time moving your body!
Create balance, practice consistency, and give yourself grace. What is most important is that you view resistance training as a way of adding to your wellness journey; it is an additional tool meant to enable you to reach your goals and optimal well-being. Let Balanced Wellness help you build resiliency, both physically and mentally, through either a one-on-one coaching or personal training session. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to find your coaching match!