Talkin’ ain’t doin’
Man, what a gorgeous Sunday. We spent the day yesterday doing yard work – cleaning dead bugs out of the lamp by the front door, getting the trees out of the eavestroughs, cutting out all the hostas that got murdered by the frost, raking leaves, etc. While I got sore and tired pretty quickly, my stamina was better than it was last autumn, and I am less incapacitated today. WHY?
Because I started strength training.
Putting on slabs of muscle is just, SO SO critical for our health, wellbeing, and longevity. Here is a laundry list of some of the benefits:
- The psychological benefits are what I find most interesting (and probably least talked about), so let’s start there:
- Lifting weights is empowering.
- It increases confidence.
- It can boost mood (when you strength train, your body produces anti-depression chemicals).
- It encourages us to TAKE UP SPACE.
- It shows us WE ARE CAPABLE.
- And now for the physical benefits:
- It can reduce your risk of experiencing osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, joint pain, and injury.
- It can improve metabolism.
- Muscle is anti-inflammatory (unlike fat which is pro-inflammatory).
- Muscle can REDUCE MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS like hot flashes!
- It can decrease your risk of falls by helping you move quickly and react to falls.
- It gives you a better butt. 🙂
Source: Menopocalypse by Amanda Thebe and https://drgabriellelyon.com/muscle-centric-medicine/
So, I know all this stuff. I’ve probably consumed a jillion podcasts and books on the subject, but in the immortal words of Zoe from Serenity, “Talkin’ ain’t doin’.” There is such SUCH a large gap between knowing what needs to be done and doing it.
So, what to do in that situation?? Get some help!
So that’s what I did. I contacted Sarah Strange at Basis Health & Performance, who I discovered via Robb Wolf’s Healthy Rebellion community. Sarah and I met for 2 hours over Zoom and she did a full assessment on the range of motion (ROM) for each of my major joints. She then compiled a summary doc that listed where I had “opportunities” to improve my ROM, and she provided links to several videos/exercises that could help. I wanted even more help though. Basically I just wanted her to tell me what to do.
So I joined their Train Heroic platform, and now Sarah loads daily workouts for me. I open the app, and the workouts are all listed there, with videos and notes showing me how to do the movements. She tailored the workouts so I can do them with the equipment I have at home (some dumbbells, a bench, yoga blocks, etc.). The workouts consist of Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) joint mobilizations for the targeted area (e.g. shoulders), a series of strength/power training movements, and then FRC exercises called PAILS and RAILS that help you build up strength in the joint in a variety of positions.
I work out for 45-60 minutes 4 days a week at 5:30 AM now, and my mood, stamina, and self-concept have all improved in just 3 weeks of training. I have a better relationship with my body and I just feel more capable.
If you are interested in learning more about strength training, here are a few resources for you:
If you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, you could check out this 10-minute video. In 10 minutes, without using any weights, you can start to build some strength. If you are interested in working with a local coach, I have a few people I can connect you with.
Well, that got longer than I intended, but hopefully it helped you understand why putting on some muscle mass could save your life, and it gave you some ideas about how to take action on that knowledge.
And remember, if you want guidance with finding more freedom in your body and mind, I’m here for you.
Have a great Thanksgiving week!!