Strength Training & The Importance Of Building Muscle 

Let’s talk about strength training this month.  Now, there are many different ways to do a strength workout – that’s not what this article is about. But simply, if you aren’t going to sweat, or do many steps today, if you don’t fancy getting shivery cold, strength is your option. These are my 4S’s: sweat, steps, shiver, strength. Because in order for this method to work, at least one of those 4S’s – my four daily non-negotiables – needs to be done every day. Why? So that you can live happier, healthier, and longer. 

Strength Training Workout Ideas 

If you’re unfamiliar with exercising to build strength, I have a few options for you to try. The first is bodyweight training. Highly-accessible, using just your bodyweight to do push ups, squats, and planks. Another is something called animal flow (something we really enjoy doing!)  which consists of six components made up of a range of movements. Each component has a different goal, for example, to strengthen your wrists or encourage flexibility, and can be grouped together to create different routines. Again, it’s entirely bodyweight and floor based, and is just a really great way to work out. Both of these options can be done pretty much anywhere, whether you’re at home, or even in a hotel room. Alternatively, you may add weights to your home workout, attend CrossFit, yoga or pilates classes, or go to a conventional gym. 

The Benefits of Building Strength 

You may be surprised to learn that these workouts have more benefits than simply building muscle. In fact, strength training two to three times a week is really important for bone density, our musculoskeletal system, and for energy regulation. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, meaning it burns more calories when at rest. Fundamentally, muscle holds us together, responsible for both our functional strength and fitness. So, if you can’t sweat, get those steps in, or shiver, then strength training it is. And there are all kinds of resources out there to provide you with inspiration for workouts if you need it.  

A final couple of points regarding strength training are that it’s also becoming more important as we age for both men and women. Women in their 50s go through hormonal changes that can lead to an increase in body fat and a decrease in muscle mass. As mentioned earlier muscles are metabolically more active and therefore promote fat burning.  

Last but not least, muscle mass is increasingly linked to longevity. If you have more muscle when you’re older, you’re much less likely to fall and if you do fall, you’re more likely to have bones strong enough to withstand the fall 

What Do Your 4S’s Look Like? 

So there we have it, the 4S’s: sweat, steps, shiver, strength. Four non-negotiables, at least one of which must be done every day. And this month I particularly wanted to focus on strength training and stress the importance of it. Especially for women!