The benefits of strength training, especially as we age, are so paramount, that I consider strength to be a key component of health. Beyond the aesthetics of lean body mass and defined musculature, strength training is foundational to a host of benefits including;
*enhanced daily function
*optimal athletic performance
*elevated confidence, and relief from anxiety/depression
*lean body composition
*increased fat metabolism
*enhanced oxygen delivery to cells
*elevated Immune function
*increased metabolic efficiency
*insulin sensitivity and blood glucose regulation
*mitochondrial biogenesis (increase in number and function), increasing clean energy production and reducing free radicals
Strength training Increases organ reserve, the key to longevity and thriving in life. As we enhance muscle and connective tissue strength and function, our organs are challenged to increase their functional capacity to support life. The heart, lungs, adrenals, endocrine organs, brain and essentially all organs, are challenged to shift into a higher gear to support the increased demands. An active lifestyle, paired with sufficient rest and recovery, fortifies all the organs.
Activity sends a signal to our genes that this body and mind must rise, to thrive in life.✨
Movement is powerful medicine!!
A great target to aim for is to lift heavy things with excellent technique 2-3x per week for 10-30 minutes at a time. Start with body weight movements such as Primal Essential squats, planks, push ups, and pull ups, scaled to your ability. Add resistance bands, weights and power movements as your ability allows. Take the time to study proficient technique and focus on this throughout each session.
Feeling powerful in one’s body and mind is an incredible experience every person has the right to master.
Pilates is an excellent way to build strength and mobility with control. It allows one to create awareness of alignment, core activation, centering, control, breathing, precision, and full body engagement. The focused work develops personal mastery and resilience. ✅VIDEOS for home practice are here! No equipment is needed.
Strength training allows one to move out of pain and tension, into strength and energy. Strength is freedom.
Pain and muscle tension are the brain and nervous system’s response to weakness, instability, and danger. When the body perceives a threat of instability to the system, it sends signals of pain as an alarm for one to wake up, and make change to protect the system. Pain and tension are the nervous system’s attempts to create stability and return to safety. In response to this, stretching or massaging the area to release the tension will not create enduring beneficial change. Indeed, they might destabilize the system, leading to weakness or imbalance, if not accompanied by appropriate strength training. The system is seeking strength and stability. With strength training to stabilize the joints, the nervous system senses stability and no longer needs to send signals inducing pain and tension.
Women are encouraged to lighten training loads during the pre-menstrual (luteal) phase and the beginning of menstruation. During these points in the cycle, peak hormone levels create laxity in the connective tissues and inflammation in the uterus which makes deep core engagement challenging. Keep moving, but opt for lighter intensity and loads to prevent injury. Alissa Vitti and Sara Gustafson are great resources for more information.
Enjoy feeling your power! Rise into your strength.