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Imagini pentru Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier

Strength training is an important part of an overall fitness program. Here’s what strength training can do for you — and how to get started.By Mayo Clinic StaffRelated articleStrength training: How-to video collection

Want to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently? Strength training to the rescue! Strength training is a key component of overall health and fitness for everyone.

Use it or lose it

Lean muscle mass naturally diminishes with age.

You’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body if you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose over time. Strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass at any age.

Strength training may also help you:

  • Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Manage your weight. Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories.
  • Enhance your quality of life Strength training may enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to do everyday activities. Building muscle also can contribute to better balance and may reduce your risk of falls. This can help you maintain independence as you age.
  • Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes.
  • Sharpen your thinking skills. Some research suggests that regular strength training and aerobic exercise may help improve thinking and learning skills for older adults.

Consider the options

Strength training can be done at home or in the gym. Common choices include:

  • Body weight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try pushups, pullups, planks and leg squats.
  • Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing is inexpensive, lightweight tubing that provides resistance when stretched. You can choose from many types of resistance tubes in nearly any sporting goods store.
  • Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools. If you don’t have weights at home, you can use soup cans.
  • Weight machines. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines. You can invest in weight machines for use at home, too.

Getting started

If you have a chronic condition, or if you’re older than age 40 and you haven’t been active recently, check with your doctor before beginning a strength training or aerobic fitness program.

Before beginning strength training, consider warming up with brisk walking or another aerobic activity for five or 10 minutes. Cold muscles are more prone to injury than are warm muscles.

Choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions. When you can easily do more repetitions of a certain exercise, gradually increase the weight or resistance.

Research shows that a single set of 12 to 15 repetitions with the proper weight can build muscle efficiently in most people and can be as effective as three sets of the same exercise.

To give your muscles time to recover, rest one full day between exercising each specific muscle group.

Also be careful to listen to your body. If a strength training exercise causes pain, stop the exercise. Consider trying a lower weight or trying it again in a few days.

It’s important to use proper technique in strength training to avoid injuries. If you’re new to weight training, work with a trainer or other fitness specialist to learn correct form and technique. Remember to breathe as you strength train.

When to expect results

You don’t need to spend hours a day lifting weights to benefit from strength training. You can see significant improvement in your strength with just two or three 20- or 30-minute weight training sessions a week.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends incorporating strength training exercises for all major muscle groups into a fitness routine at least two times a week.

As you incorporate strength training exercises into your fitness routine, you may notice improvement in your strength over time. As your muscle mass increases, you’ll likely be able to lift weight more easily and for longer periods of time. If you keep it up, you can continue to increase your strength, even if you’re not in shape when you begin.



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Now that we’re recognizing the more subtle forms of burnout that are so common, we’re finding more ways that it can affect our mental and physical health.

A new study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, has found a new link between our culture’s burnout problem and our health, specifically our heart health. It’s enough to make us take a second look at our work habits and to consider more ways to fight burnout each day.

What’s the link between burnout & heartbeat?

In a survey of over 11,000 people, researchers found that participants with high levels of “vital exhaustion” were 20% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation, more commonly known as an irregular or rapid heartbeat.

Vital exhaustion is another term for burnout syndrome, and it “is typically caused by prolonged and profound stress at work or home,” said study author Parveen K. Garg, M.D., of the University of Southern California.

The study began with assessing vital exhaustion, anger, antidepressant use, and social support levels in the test group. The researchers then followed the group for 25 years to see what the occurrence of atrial fibrillation was.

“Vital exhaustion is associated with increased inflammation and heightened activation of the body’s physiologic stress response,” said Garg. “When these two things are chronically triggered, that can have serious and damaging effects on the heart tissue, which could then eventually lead to the development of this arrhythmia.”

The other conditions tested (anger, antidepressant use, and poor social support) did not have correlation with irregular heartbeat.Article continues below

What can we do to fight burnout?

“The importance of avoiding exhaustion through careful attention to—and management of—personal stress levels as a way to help preserve overall cardiovascular health cannot be overstated,” said Garg.

Here at mindbodygreen, we’ve predicted 2020 is the year of “productive downtime” in an effort to fight the chronic stress so many of us face. Even the World Health Organization has updated its definition of burnout to include a broader group.

There’s also evidence that taking more breaks can make us more productive in the end, and we’re adding this bedtime practice to our regular nightly routine to help fight future burnout.


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I’ve found overstimulation is common with dissociative disorder. We with dissociative disorders have a “special” nervous system that is more reactive to stimuli. Our propensity towards dissociation and anxiety creates an ideal combination that is overwhelmed with excessive stimuli, also known as sensory overload, or overstimulation.

What Overstimulation Is

Overstimulation happens when we are swamped by more sights, sounds, tastes, and sensations than with which we can cope. It is as if we have too many tabs open in our head, and our brain cannot process them as fast as they are firing. Once this sensory overload begins, we become hyperaware of everything in our environment, exacerbating our condition.

For someone who dissociates and is already sensitive to anxiety-provoking events, too much stimuli can be detrimental to our routine functioning. Our brains cannot process the amount of stimuli we are ingesting, so we are prone to dissociate and shutdown.

Many people have heard of the fight-flight-freeze response. It is the body’s response to real or perceived danger. The body will either enter fight mode and stay, go into flight mode and try to escape the situation or freeze and shut down emotionally. When individuals who are sensitive, such as those with dissociative disorders, and susceptible to overstimulation are exposed to exessive sensory triggers, they can go into freeze mode, which is where dissociation occurs. 

My Experience with Overstimulation and Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociation and shutting down happened with me recently when I was out with a group of six friends. We all joined together for a few hours one day for shopping and a meal. Everyone was talking, cackling, and singing to the radio, seemingly all at the same time. Soon, the amount of noise was too much for my threshold. The environment was overstimulating, and I began to shut down.

Due to excessive stimulation, I could not understand what my friends were saying. I only heard loud, muffled noise from my group. I became dissociative and disconnected from myself. My head began to hurt and felt fuzzy inside. My anxiety was fired up, but I grew quiet, turned in towards myself, and shut down. I had to leave my friends early to decompress and find a safe space.

I experienced severe overstimulation. For the next two days, I lay in bed crying, distraught, and foggy-headed. I lost several days of memory, and it eventually took a week before I felt back to my normal self. 

How to Cope with Overstimulation and Dissociation

You can try to avoid triggers of sensory overload once you know what causes it for you. For example, I know that crowds of people and loud noises trigger me to shut down and create a need to retreat to a quiet space, so I know to avoid the shopping mall on Black Friday and to avoid the movie theater on the opening night of a Star Wars release.

Other suggestions on how to cope with situations that can lead to dissociation due to overstimulation:

  • Have an escape plan. Get out of the triggering environment. 
  • Take a break. Find someplace to be alone, and use the downtime to rest and recharge.
  • Use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones that can drown out unwanted noises. Play a soothing playlist.
  • Limit your screen time. I have found that dissociation and overstimulation are linked for me and are exacerbated by my use of screens, such as my mobile phone.
  • Respond to your needs early. Take care of yourself before someone needs to take care of you.
  • Try meditation or simple, deep breathing exercises. 
  • Keep things close by that can soothe you and create positive stimuli, such as a favorite, comfortable blanket or a worry stone.
  • Wear sunglasses indoors to block out light.
  • Wear your favorite, comfortable clothes.

Overstimulation and dissociation can be quite debilitating. Everyone experiences too much stimuli at times, but most aren’t aware of its effects. But those with anxiety-related disorders, such as dissociative disorders, are more susceptible to the stresses of sensory overload. Careful planning and knowing your triggers are keys to managing excessive stimuli.


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