The Mind - Body Connection of Strength Training

by Erin Bell

What is strength training? Strength training is a form of exercise that uses resistance to make bones and muscles stronger.  We all want strong bones, right?  What does it take to get them? Some say building strong bones requires only two ingredients: calcium and vitamin D, but there are some other key elements as well. By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Lifting heavy weights or even using your own body’s weight as resistance during physical activity has been shown to halt and even reverse sarcopenia – the reduction of skeletal muscle that occurs as we get older.

Strength training is a form of exercise which can lift your mood and enhance your well-being. Physical activity mobilizes hormones and helps the body to recalibrate emotions especially when they are unsteady or exacerbated. Building muscle and strengthening bones creates improved body composition, and in time, improves posture. When a person stands with shoulders back, head and neck straight and upwards, shoulder blades pinched down into back- they are sending a message to their brain that they are on top of things and can handle anything. Moving your body sharpens thinking skills and creates an alert mind that is resilient.

Raising heart rate through strength training once or twice a day is a healthy habit to introduce to an individual’s daily routine. Strength training causes increased flow-mediated dilation which contributes to cardiovascular health. The reason why it is important to have a healthy heart is because a person can live a fulfilling and active life when they do not have heart conditions. The heart works very hard every day, non-stop, for our entire lives, so it is a nice thing to do to take care of it.

What are some ways a person can strength train? In the morning it is easy to do some exercises at home such as push-ups, squats and sit-ups. All of these exercises use the body’s natural weight to make bones stronger through exercise. It is good to keep the body’s muscles engaged for at least a minute at a time, then switch to a new exercise such as flutter kicks or scissor kicks. Strength training can help a person gain lean body mass, gain a clear mind and maybe even some confidence because they will feel strong enough to complete daily tasks on their own. When a person decides to improve their body through routines that makes the body stronger, the person also improves their mind.

In conclusion, strength training is healthy for the muscles and bones of the body and it is healthy for the person a whole. Strength training can be done at home or even in the office, there is always some time to get a few small movements in to improve your circulation. The blood flow to your brain is healthy for you mind and thoughts and may contribute to productivity.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.