Updated: Sep 18, 2020
What have you been doing to keep your body healthy during this #StayatHome time?
My family and I created a simple home gym in our garage. I have been out there several times a week, doing simple things like planks and sit-ups, light weightlifting, and other “body weight only” exercises. Guess what? My mood is much better on those days.
Strength is so important. My “why” has everything to do with being healthy into my old age. I want to be able to hold the new grandbaby, be physically active with my kids (who range in age from 29-14) and I want overall good health. Basically, I want to be able to enjoy my life now and well into old age.
Wondering why strength training and weight bearing exercise so important? Just Google it and you’ll get tons of great answers and information.
For me, the main reasons have to do with muscle and bone strength, balance, mental health, and overall well-being. Whether or not I can wear a bikini is not my focus. But I won’t complain if that happens!
Strong muscles – in middle age, we begin to lose muscle mass and density. Some studies show a loss of 3-5% per decade. Strength training is one way to help replace what is being lost. Diet and sleep are also important factors.
Strong bones – building and maintaining strong bones is so important for women (and men) at every age. For women that are approaching menopause, it’s extra important. Strength training is one of the best ways to increase bone density which helps fight Osteoporosis. Make sure to also eat plenty of healthy foods that provide calcium, vitamin D, and other micronutrients.
Better mental/emotional health – when I exercise regularly, I feel better mentally and emotionally. I can handle stress better.
Burn more fat - Did you know stronger, leaner muscles also burn fat at a higher, more efficient rate? Studies have shown that regular strength training increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR). A higher RMR means your body burns fat quicker, even when you are resting. Sign me up!
Improved balance – I want to avoid any falls which could lead to broken bones, a longer recovery time, and a domino effect of declining health. Having strong muscles means better balance, and if I should fall, stronger bones will not break as easily.
Better sleep – Don’t just take my word for it. Studies have shown we typically fall asleep faster and have fewer episodes of waking during the night. Personally, I have better, deeper, more restful sleep when I exercise regularly.
Here’s to our health – a little better, smarter, and stronger every day!
Cleveland Clinic article https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-can-you-avoid-muscle-loss-as-you-age/
YMCA of Lafayette, Indiana: https://lafayettefamilyymca.org/five-benefits-of-strength-training-for-women/
Ohio State University study: https://u.osu.edu/emotionalfitness/2017/10/20/weight-lifting-exercise-and-mental-health/