Strength-Training and Holistic Health

Today’s Happy Note: Got to read an interesting interview at the office today!  Learned some super random stuff about Nikita Khruschev!

I won’t lie, I struggled to come up with a happy note today.  The day was long and tiring; but at the same time, I wasn’t sad about it.  I was ambivalent.  Not all days can be wonderful, but not all days will be terrible either, I suppose.

Exercise: Did 30 minutes of HIIT on le elliptical this morning, proceeded by 40 (yes 40!) minutes of strength training (arms and abs).  It feels really good to lift weights once or twice a week; I’m starting to like it a lot, and as long as I don’t do the exact same series of exercises with the same weights and the same reps, I don’t get bored!  I actually think it’s pretty fun, although my gym is full of sweaty college football players.

I think a lot of women don’t strength train or don’t do it enough, for a variety of reasons.  Many women are mothers or are struggling to push forward in their careers, or they don’t know the benefits.  But I can think of two more reasons that have served as obstacles for me personally in the past: being cardio-obsessed and/or being afraid of the weight room and the intimidating men in there!  Strength training not only helps build lean muscle mass, but it’s important for your bones too.  And I definitely find that it helps with my confidence; regardless of what my body looks like, I love to feel strong and powerful.

In terms of the first obstacle: I used to be a bit cardio obsessed.  I felt so guilty if I didn’t do an hour or two a day!  Now I know this was part of my disordered body image and eating patterns.  Ladies, you don’t need this much!  I definitely make sure to take days where I do yoga or rest entirely, and I have been loving 30 minute HIIT sessions lately.  I think strength training has also helped me get over my obsession; for me, no amount of cardio has ever made me thin or especially toned.  Lifting weights and doing ab exercises (among other things) makes me look and feel better!  I know I see this lady and this lady do it all the time, and they are positively glowing!

And the men; yes, sometimes they stare, sometimes they smell, sometimes they are extraordinarily obnoxious and machoistic.  But they have nothing to do with you!  You’re there for you; just because the guys are lifting four times more doesn’t mean you aren’t strong.  In a way, I think weight lifting can be very feminine.

For some great moves and demos, check out the Fitnessista’s workout page here.

Do you strength train?  If so, what are some of your favorite moves?  What do you like about doing it?

I’m exhausted.  Ugh.  Just need to get through tomorrow though.  I feel like such a silly college student going to bed at eleven sometimes, but I know that in the end it’s what’s best for my health (physical and emotional).  I need a routine and a schedule, otherwise I get upset and my insomnia gets even worse than it already is!  That’s just me though.  It’s funny when I think about just how many components of health there are; so much of popular culture and media defines it narrowly, like attaining a certain “ideal” weight or working out every day of the week or eating such and such things (e.g., acai or quinoa or beets or whatever).  But I like to take a more holistic approach.  I guess that’s what my blog is about!  Health — all dimensions of it!  I guess I’ve finally found my niche, only after 3+ months of blogging, lol.  And I blog because I need to be able to work through my health and my life and learn new things about myself, my mind and body, but also because I want to share my story — my joys, struggles, triumphs, happiness — and help others figure things out too.

Why do you blog?  Or read blogs?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    Apr 08, 2010 @ 23:26:36

    “And the men; yes, sometimes they stare, sometimes they smell, sometimes they are extraordinarily obnoxious and machoistic. But they have nothing to do with you! You’re there for you; just because the guys are lifting four times more doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. In a way, I think weight lifting can be very feminine.”

    Oh I LOVE That!

    As for the sports bra on my site, yeah girl, I am a full C and that’s about the max i can really see wearing it.

    The fact that youre upping your protein and strengh training, we are kindred spirits!

    I blog for human relationships and to share my info. I have written a big post on it before, im sure you saw it. Great question you posed.


  2. Sarah
    Apr 09, 2010 @ 00:31:03

    I like your blog because of how holistic it is and how you explore different ways to take care of yourself. I used to do strength training, but often neglected it for cardio…

    I hope you got some sleep and recovered from that tiring day. You are such a busy and active person that you deserve every ounce of zzzzz time!

    Sarah x


  3. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    Apr 09, 2010 @ 07:43:17

    I love the Fitnessista’s workouts!! Her Shape Up series are awesome, if you’re looking for a plan 🙂

    Strength training…meh. I do it because it’s important, but give me cardio any day!! M mom has osteoporosis, which can be avoided with strength training, so I make an effort to keep myself strong. Thanks for linking back!

    Hope you have a great Friday!!


  4. Can You Stay for Dinner
    Apr 09, 2010 @ 12:10:00

    I completely agree that the scope of a balanced, healthy life is much greater than what the media defines it to be. I love your approach to wellness, it’s very similar to my own. I read blogs for inspiration and support in maintaining balance. I blog because I want to share my ideas/recipes/journey. IT’s the best outlet I can imagine!


  5. Sonia
    Apr 09, 2010 @ 12:23:31

    I’m trying to get into more strength training too! I did one of Janetha’s Upper Body workouts yesterday at the gym and wow I am sore today, but I feel great!!!

    I blog because it helps me be accountable for my eating and exercise habits..and I read other blogs for inspiration. I honestly feel so happy inside that there is a network of such amazing ladies to motivate and give each other advice! LOVE it.


  6. Paige @ Running Around Normal
    Apr 09, 2010 @ 13:42:36

    Don’t feel silly about getting to sleep before midnight! 11 sounds late to me, and I’m only 25 🙂
    I love strength training as well! SO many benefits!


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