There are countless benefits to exercising regularly, particularly strength training. If done right, a regular exercise routine can improve your quality of life, whether you want to improve your golf game, be more agile on the tennis court, get up and down from the floor, keep up with your grandkids, or stand and walk more upright, the right exercise routine can help achieve your goals. It is hard to know exactly what you should be doing to get the most out of your exercise routine. That is where Physical Therapy can help. A Physical Therapist can design an individualized exercise routine based on your strengths, weaknesses, and goals. There are two main avenues in which exercise can improve your life. Not only will it make you stronger physically, but also mentally.
The most obvious benefit of strength training is enhanced physical capabilities. The body is a living organism that adapts to imposed demands. Body tissues adjust to become stronger to resist loading. Therefore, the body has to be loaded in order to elicit a change that would result in improved physical capabilities. How much load is necessary? The optimal load is the load applied to structures that maximizes physiological adaptation. A Physical Therapist can help you determine the amount of loading necessary to achieve your goals. Physical Therapy will focus on facilitating structural and neural adaptations to help you move optimally. As tissues adapt to changes in structural properties in response to load, the sensory information provided during movement will also change prompting the central nervous system (CNS) to adapt to these changes, improving your coordination and “muscle memory” with specific movements. Optimal loading for specific adaptation should consider the entire neuromusculoskeletal system. For loading to be optimal, it should be directed to the appropriate tissues and gradually progressed in terms of magnitude, direction, and rate. The goal of Physical Therapy is to identify and progress the optimal level of difficulty of a movement that provides significant mechanical and neural stimulus while preventing poor quality, rigid movement or excessive overload. This load reflects the individual’s current physical state, i.e. level of fitness, stress levels, health status, sleep state, nutrition, predisposition to injury, etc. This is why progressive overload is so fundamental to exercise prescription. It takes critical thinking and purposeful dosing of exercise to load our bodies in a meaningful manner and elicit true positive tissue changes.
Studies now show that mental strength is a critical key to achieving goals. Sometimes our goals get difficult, success seems impossible, we become discouraged, and want to quit. At its core, mental toughness is simply the ability to stick to something when the going gets tough. People with high levels of mental toughness can push beyond these obstacles and forge a path towards success while those with lower levels of mental toughness may abandon their dreams.