Strength training and wellness are two crucial components of a well-rounded fitness routine. While often seen as separate entities, they are in fact intertwined, as each one can positively impact the other. In this post, we'll explore why strength training and wellness are important and how they can work together to build stress resilience, enhance your overall physical and mental health.
Strength Training: Building a Stronger Body With Free Weights
Strength training is the process of using resistance to build lean muscle and increase strength. This is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps boost your metabolism, leading to increased calorie burn and weight loss. Secondly, training increases joint strength and bone density. As we age, our muscles naturally start to deteriorate, leading to decreased mobility and increased risk of injury. Strength training with free weights engages more muscles and requires greater stabilization, promoting a greater overall joint strength and muscular development compared to machine based training.
In addition to building a stronger body, strength training results in the release of endorphins, improves our mood, and reduces chronic stress (cortisol) long term, and increases self-esteem, leading to enhanced mental health and stress resilience.
Wellness: Lifestyle Optimisation
Wellness is taking a holistic approach to health. It takes into account not just the physical aspects, but also mental and emotional well-being. This means that in addition to regular training, it also involves eating a nutrient rich diet, improving sleep quality/depth and balancing your nervous system through healthy breathing*.
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is a branch of the nervous system that regulates the body's internal environment, including involuntary processes such as heart rate, digestion, and breathing. It is divided into two parts: the sympathetic nervous system, which prepares the body for action in response to stress, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body to recover and relax. The ANS works automatically, without conscious control, to maintain balance and homeostasis within the body.
Where food is concerned, a nutrient rich diet can help to prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It can also boost gut health, support long term weight loss, improve physical performance and enhance mental focus.
Strength Training and Wellness: Better Together
Strength training and wellness may seem like separate entities, they are actually interdependent. They are two important components of a well-rounded fitness regimen. By incorporating both into your life, you can build a stronger and healthier body, both physically and mentally. So, whether you're looking to build muscle, lose weight, improve your health, or simply feel better overall, a holistic approach to fitness routine that includes both strength training and wellness is the way to go.
*Healthy (or functional) breathing involves breathing lightly, quietly, and effortlessly through the nose, using the diaphragm, maintaining a rhythmic pattern, and pausing gently on the exhale.