#HealthyHabits October: Build Strength
They say a habit takes 21 days to make and only 3 days to break. We believe that healthy habits can help to create an overall lifestyle that can aid in a long and happy life. We aren't talking about momentous tasks, but simple things you can do to be the healthiest version of yourself. Each month, we will offer a different healthy habit for you to challenge yourself to stick with.
Octobers Healthy Habit: Build Strength
Now that you've made a habit out of doing cardio from September's healthy habit (and we know you did!), it's time to compliment that cardiovascular activity with strength training. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 25 percent of Americans over the age of 45 engage in strength training exercises, which are actually among the most important exercises to stay fit and healthy. It's a matter of fact that your muscle strength decreases with age, unless you do something to stop it. Strength training is not only for building muscle mass; it’s essential for maintaining your ability to live independently as you age, slows the aging process, and even promotes weight loss.
Strength training may not be what you think- lose the image of a very bulky body builder in front of the mirror lifting extremely heavy weights. Strength training can mean heavier weight with fewer repetitions or lighter weights with lots of repetitions, or some mixture of the two. Strength training can also mean lifting no weights, and using body weight to build muscle with exercises such as push-ups, planks, lunges, tricep dips and abdominal crunches. Additionally, our strength Group Exercise Classes offer a variety of options for you to find a class that will help you to love strength training.
Beyond simply building muscle mass, Us News and World Report states that strength training provides many additional health benefits. These benefits include: better cardiovascular health, controlled blood sugar levels, reduced risk of cancer, improved flexibility and mobility, strengthened mental health and more.
Here are some helpful tips on turning strength building into a habit.
- Warm up and cool down for 5-10 minutes. Walking and stretching are great for this.
- Focus on form and body alignment, not weight. Move smoothly through each exercise.
- Breath. Exhale as you lift, push or pull; inhale as you release.
- Challenge muscles by slowly increasing weight or resistance.
- Get a routine. Working all the major muscles of your body 2 or 3 times a week is ideal.
- Recover. Strength training causes tiny tears in muscles, which grow strong as the tears repair. Give muscles at least 48 hours to recover between strength training sessions.