Strong in the Body Equals Strong in the Mind

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The amount of wellness marketing we receive at the start of every year focuses greatly on cardio and diet. As you wake up in February and look for more inspiration to help your mind and body, I want you to consider something different: strength training. 

A consistent strength training regimen is essential to keep our bones healthier and our joints stronger. My sleep quality improves at least 30% when I do consistent strength training in the morning. My mood is better. My focus is sharper.

And these are just the short-term benefits. 

Researchers have found a 10 to 20% reduction in the risk of early death from all causes — and from cancer and heart disease specifically — occurred when people did approximately 30 to 60 minutes of muscle-building workouts per week.

If you’re interested in some ideas to incorporate strength training for minutes a day, then there are three things I encourage you to buy. As a collective, these items can cost under $100. And yet, when used consistently, it will give you priceless benefits to your health.

• The first is a weighted jump rope.

Jump ropes are tremendous cardiovascular tools, and when combined with weights, they are incredibly powerful. Starting with a one-pound weighted jump rope — which is a lot heavier than you may think — will do wonders for your arms and core.

If you’re a frequent traveler, then there are even ropeless weighted jump rope options to pack in your luggage and use in your hotel room or gym.

• The second is a weighted vest.

These are wonderful, low-impact options to help burn more calories by adding resistance. As we head into springtime soon, use a weighted vest while working from home during your walk-and-talk calls!

These vests come in various colors and sizes and have scalable weight options. Ensure you’re adjusting the vest and feel comfortable wearing one before long walks. 

• The third is a kettlebell.

Kettlebells are magical devices for the best all-around strength and cardio workout. Ten to 15 minutes with a kettlebell two to three times weekly will work wonders for you. Kettlebells also come in various weight sizes and colors, so start with lower weight and adjust as needed; there are even kettlebells with adjustable weights.

I highly recommend speaking with a certified kettlebell coach who can help you with the proper form and technique.

And, again, if you’re a frequent traveler, sometimes hotel gyms don’t have kettlebells. Don’t fear! You can purchase attachments to pack so you can use regular dumbbells as kettlebells. 

Before starting any strength training program, please ensure that you use the proper form and techniques. Find a local personal trainer or resource online to learn how to use these products. Ensure that you’re spending at least 5 to 10 minutes per exercise to properly warm up and cool down. Also, make sure that you boost your protein intake to repair your muscles faster. 

Finally, when starting your strength training, give yourself a few days to overcome those early-onset aches and pains. Your muscles are waking up and it will take some time to recover. They will!

In no time, you will not only see the changes to your mood and sleep, but you will also notice that you feel better in your clothes. 

Please let me know what steps you’re taking in your physical health journey! 

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