This can be an exhausting time of year. Between holiday shopping, party planning, and an increase in social commitments, many of us run out of energy. The extra time we need in our day has to come from somewhere – so, we may choose to let go of or reduce exercise time. It’s ironic, because exercise is one activity that can boost energy levels while relieving depression, stress and anxiety. The resulting endorphins can provide a super hero feeling, and who can’t use that?
When I need to feel strong, super girl strong, I visit a weight room. In the slow, repetitive movements I feel a type of relaxation and “in the moment” peace invade my being. Anxiety becomes a sedate and gooey ooze out of my system. You can’t hurry, worry or rush when resisting weight. When it’s all done, my tired, depressed mood lies in drops on the floor.
Strength training, we all need it. No matter if we are male or female, young or old, big or little we need to continue to maintain or build muscle mass and bone density throughout our lives.
The minimum – 3 times a week. Whether it helps out a weekly tennis match or carrying the groceries in from the car, resistance training preserves muscular strength. Used as a weapon against fatigue, training muscles for strength and endurance enhances movement stability and coordination while improving vitality for activities associated with daily living. The theory is, we should be less tired at the end of the day.
Muscles benefit from oxygenated blood which carries nutrients in and waste products out. Regular strength training improves heart rate, blood pressure and relieves stress.
Muscle is active tissue burning calories and that’s a good thing. It’s true – if you don’t use it, you will lose it. Fat will take it’s place, and that’s a bad thing.
So, whether your preference is free weights and power cleans after work, weight machines at your local health club, or sneaking in some elastic band training while working at your desk, keep it up to stay strong. The holidays can be a challenge, but we have a choice – we can buckle under the pressures or power up!