How to Improve Your Mental and Physical Strength

Have you ever found yourself admiring people you think of as strong, both physically and mentally?  Strong individuals take care of themselves, show confidence and serve as an inspiration to others. Physical and emotional strength are also important components of your overall health and it’s critical that you focus on both areas when creating your fitness plan!

It Starts with Mental Strength

Building your emotional wellbeing is fundamental to living your best life. Optimal mental health helps you live a life you love, have meaningful social connections, and can improve self-esteem. It’s never too late to maintain your strength or discover new ways to get even stronger. There are numerous studies showing people who are strong emotionally are also physically healthier and have stronger immune systems.

A good way to start building up your mental strength is by creating a daily routine based on brain-boosting habits. Try mindfulness activities, such as meditation, yoga and breathing exercises to help you deal with stress or challenges in your life. Being mentally strong helps you resist both internal and external influences that weaken your self-confidence and well-being.

How Physical Strength Correlates with Mental Strength

Your physical strength goes hand in hand with your mental strength. As I tell my students, “Strong mind, strong body.” Regular physical activity will not only help keep your muscles, bones and joints strong, but it will also build up your mental resilience. Regular workouts may actually change the way your brain responds to stress, thereby improving your ability to deal with any stressors that may come your way. Also, when you exercise, your mind produces a variety of “feel good” neurotransmitters and hormones, which delivers a major boost to your mood. Those positive emotions go a long way in improving your mental health!

Muscle strength and dynamic balance are vital at every age, but in older populations it becomes even more crucial for maintaining independence and quality of life. As we age, we do lose muscle mass and strength. Muscles atrophy and become weak when we do not exercise or keep our bodies strong. “If you do not use it, you lose it” That’s why it is so crucial to do strengthening exercises and keep physically active.

Tips for Improving Your Mental Strength

  1. Cultivate a growth mindset.
  2. Develop emotional regulation skills.
  3. Set realistic goals.
  4. Strengthen your support system.
  5. Practice self-compassion and love.
  6. Step out of your comfort zone.
  7. Develop a daily routine.
  8. Keep your connections strong (socialize).
  9. Practice mindfulness and start a meditation practice.
  10. Be a believer.

Tips for Improving Your Physical Strength

  1. Exercise and stay active to prevent muscle and bone loss.
  2. Do activities that are fun, get you in shape, increase your alertness, and feel good to your body and mind.
  3. Do exercises that actually strengthen your muscles, such as:
  4. Lifting weights
  5. Resistance bands
  6. Walking
  7. Hiking
  8. Dancing
  9. Push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups
  10. Heavy gardening such as digging and shoveling.

I want to share one of my favorite quotes by Tim Grover: “Physical strength measures what you CAN DO, Mental strength measures whether you’ll actually DO IT!” We can all live a productive, healthy, and well-balanced life by focusing on strengthening both our minds and our bodies. By choosing to do things that make you happy and content, you will see immediate boosts in your attitude, energy, motivation and outlook on life. Stay Strong!  Be Happy and Healthy!

This article originally appeared in the Ventura Breeze.

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