Benefits of strength training
One of the most important aspects of self-care is taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health. And recent research has recognized the benefits of strength training as one of the best forms of exercise to achieve this goal.
For example, research links strength training with improved insulin sensitivity among people with diabetes and pre-diabetes. One study published in the journal Diabetes Care concluded that twice-weekly strength training sessions helped control insulin swings (and body weight) among older men with type-2 diabetes.
Other studies have shown additional mental and emotional benefits of strength training, such as improved focus and cognitive function, less anxiety and greater well-being.
And for us older folks, maintaining strength later in life “seems to be one of the best predictors of survival,” says Mark Peterson, an assistant professor of physical medicine at the University of Michigan. “When we add strength…almost every health outcome improves.”
“It used to be we thought of strength training as something for athletes,” he adds, “but now we recognize it as a seminal part of general health and well-being at all ages.”
The importance of prioritizing self-care
Self–care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our physical, mental, and emotional health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we often don’t make time for. Good self-care is key to improved mood, reduced anxiety, and sustainable overall good health. And as we now know, some of the biggest benefits of strength training occur in these areas.
And while self-care can sometimes mean indulging in a favorite food or some other type of reward, it’s not really about treating yourself. In fact, the best self-care activities tend to have long-term positive impacts rather than an immediate sense of reward. While eating a fudge sundae feels pleasurable at the moment, that pleasure tends to be fleeting.
Instead, by engaging in activities like strength training that are aimed at taking care of yourself on a more comprehensive level, you support your long-term well-being by making healthy and meaningful choices that encourage growth, mental and physical strength, and a positive self-image.
We all can benefit greatly from consistent and deliberate self-care activities. Even if you are not currently stressed or upset, developing the habit of regularly take care of yourself will help ensure that you are prepared to manage future stressors in healthy and effective ways. Doing self-care activities not only helps you to cultivate good habits, it also helps your mind and body operate at its best—exactly the foundation you need to be the best you can be!
Self-care activities work best when practiced consistently. At first, it may feel like a chore and require a lot of conscious effort for you, but over time self-care becomes a habit, like brushing your teeth. In fact, only two 30-minute workouts per week are all that’s needed to enjoy the benefits of strength training.
So set aside some time in your busy life to schedule self-care activities, including exercise, and start enjoying the many unseen benefits of strength training.
If you want to build a self-care habit and start experiencing the physical, mental and emotional benefits of strength training discussed in this post, we can help. Rock Solid Fitness offers safe, personalized strength training in Dunedin, Florida. You can schedule a FREE initial consultation and workout experience by clicking HERE.