There are different definitions of fitness for everyone. The societal norms and beliefs, over the years, tricked many of us into believing that being fir means being extra skinny. Most of us fail to realise that this is one of the most prevalent misconceptions one could ever come across related to fitness and your body. ‘Fitness’ has a lot to do with body strength, and not what your body ‘looks like, because everybody is beautiful and unique.
The whole idea is to develop strong muscular health and agility in movements. But, of course, with that comes a body shape that is attractive for your body type and structure. So if you want to improve your health, strength training should be at the top of your list.
Exercises to increase body strength
1. Strength Training
Strength training makes you stronger, burns calories efficiently, decreases abdominal fat, helps you appear leaner, reduces your risk of falls and injuries, promotes greater mobility and flexibility, boosts your self-esteem and makes your bones stronger. In addition, it improves heart health, helps manage blood sugar levels, and improves your overall mental health.
This article will take you through exercise movements and nutrition tips curated by the HealthifyMe team of experts to increase your body strength and endurance. For best results, you should try to do these exercises at least twice a week. So, buckle up as we take you through the ultimate guide to improving your overall body strength!
2. Lifting Weights
Of course, starting with the most common weight-lifting exercises is always a good idea.
If you’re a beginner, start with basic exercises with smaller weights and, week by week, increase the reps and weight. You can fix different days in a week to train different parts of your body- back and biceps, chest and triceps, legs, etc.
Lifting weights doesn’t just build strength; it also helps with self-confidence, preventing injuries as well as improving your overall mental health.
3. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are easy to use and also highly effective. They improve the quality of your exercises and also help to focus your control.
The most significant benefit of using resistance bands is that they’re lightweight and are a great alternative to machines. So, the next time you don’t feel like hitting the gym or making up excuses, you know your go-to workout best friend!
Yes, you read that right! Heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling ground, works on all muscle groups, improving body strength. And most importantly, we all know how refreshing and calming it is to spend some time amongst the greenery: it indeed is a form of therapy! Also, it is a great way to be environmentally responsible and bond with your children.
5. Climbing Stairs
Ditch the elevator, take the stairs, and watch your body stamina and strength drastically improve over just a few weeks! Once you are a pro at it, try to run up the stairs. Five flights of stairs a day can keep the fat away.
6. Trekking, Hill walking, Dancing and Cycling
Who said exercising has to be boring? Instead, pick one activity that you enjoy and that also gets your muscles worked up so that not just your body but your mind remains happy and healthy too! For example, exercising for 45 minutes a day or short bursts of activity between work and other chores can significantly improve productivity and fitness.
7. Push-Ups, Sit-Ups And Squats
These are simple and easy-to-do exercises that you can perform anywhere and at any time of the day! Start with ten reps of each activity thrice a day. Then, gradually add other body-weight exercises and increase the number of rounds.
How can we miss yoga when talking about working out! And hey! Bonus, it doesn’t just make your body happy; it calms your mind and is truly therapeutic. Yoga improves concentration and overall emotional and mental health. That’s right; it hits the bull’s eye, indeed.
When practised regularly, simple postures like Suryanamaskars, leg raises, standing asanas, vajrasana, when practised regularly, improve posture, help in weight management, and improve digestion. As a result, you have a fitter body, better skin and hair health.
Now let’s move on to the various foods that help improve your overall body strength.
Foods that help improve body strength
Bananas are rich in natural sugars such a Sucrose, Glucose and Fructose. They give you that instant energy while also supplementing your body with potassium to enrich the working muscles. Not just these, bananas contain the amino acid tryptophan that helps preserve memory, boosts a person’s ability to learn and remember things and also regulates mood.
Broccoli is rich in vitamin C. We all know that Vitamin-c is your best friend to boost overall immunity while strengthening your body. Broccoli also contains cancer-protective compounds and, of course, are a good source of fibre.
Yoghurt, homemade curd or even buttermilk are rich in calcium and proteins that help strengthen your bones and prevent injuries. In addition, yoghurt has good bacteria called ‘probiotics’ that boost the immune system, improve gut health and work as a coolant for the body.
Spinach is rich in nitrates, iron and vitamins, which help overcome muscle weakness and fatigue. Not just this, spinach also helps prevent iron deficiency, strengthens the immune system and keeps the eyes healthy. So, as our elders have been telling us for years: ‘eat your greens!’ and add spinach in your curries, smoothies and soups.
5. Protein-Rich Sources
Some protein-rich bio-available sources include paneer, tofu, soya, chicken and fish. Fun fact, 100 grams of these give about 20 grams of bioavailable protein, perfect for a post-workout snack!
Peanuts, Walnuts, Brazil nuts, Hazelnuts and Almonds; all of these are extremely rich in Calcium, Zinc, Omega-3-fatty acids, all of which help keep that muscle endurance going! Not just this, nuts are also extremely good for skin health as they make your skin look youthful and glowing.
Watermelon is rich in Vitamin C. It is no surprise that it helps prevent dehydration since 90% of it is water. It also contains compounds that help prevent cancer, improve heart health, help keep skin and hair healthy. Most importantly, it helps relieve muscle soreness—all the more reason to make it a post-workout snack!
Every journey starts with a small step. You keep taking one step after the other, and you look back one day and see that you’ve climbed a mountain. Inculcating all of these exercises and nutrition tips in your lifestyle is a gift that your body will thank yourself for life. So get going, and when in doubt, talk to the experts who will help you get started on this journey!