Strength training is essential for a strong body, bones and mind. Doing a full-body workout twice a week is the recommendation for general health and fitness. It doesn’t take long to strengthen the major muscle groups of your body, 15-20 minutes can get it done, and the pay-off is huge.
What motivates you to lift weights?
The strongest motivator for me to lift weights is strengthening my bones. When I was in college I did a bone density scan and found out that I had osteopenia (low bone density). After I had baby Sara, my bone density dropped even more and I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. When I learned about my “bad” bones, I started lifting weights to protect my bones and I started looking for the cause of my poor bone density. Ultimately, I found out that I have celiac disease. Not only does uncontrolled celiac disease cause nutrient deficiencies, it may also trigger an autoimmune attack on bones. So now, to boost my bone density I stick to my gluten-free diet and lift weights twice a week.
My bones are what keep me from veering too far away from weight lifting, but it’s the sense of strength and empowerment that makes me really enjoy weight workouts. I see it in clients too; many people find that lifting weights not only lifts their spirits, but it boosts their body image as well.
What’s preventing you from doing regular strength training workouts?
Feeling uncomfortable in a gym setting is the most common barrier I hear from my clients. For those of you that are comfortable in a gym, get there, do it and stay strong. But if you aren’t getting to the gym, either because you don’t like the gym or because your schedule prevents it, get yourself set-up to lift weights at home.
While you can go to great lengths and detail for your home workout facility, here is the basic equipment you need, with links to Perform Better, an excellent online resource.
- A yoga mat to lay on (and use for yoga), although if you have carpeting, a towel to lay on the floor will do
- A few sets of dumbbells and possibly a rack to store them on
- A stability ball
The next barrier that I often hear, is not knowing how to lift weights safely and effectively. A few personal training sessions is a super-healthy holiday gift for people new to weight lifting as it is very hard for some people to make this kind of investment in themselves. Look for someone who is well credentialed and trained in Functional Movement.
Here are some good books and links to online resources for self-learners to find out more about weight training:
- The Female Body Breakthrough
- The Impact Body Plan
- Core Performance Package
- Shape Magazine
- Self Magazine
Happy lifting! It’s worth it!
Material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for personalized nutrition or health advice or healthcare. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical care because of something you have read or accessed through this website.