We often hear about the physical benefits of exercise, from losing weight to improving heart health. But how often do we think about the mental benefits, particularly when it comes to resilience and mental toughness? Physical training isn't just about getting bigger muscles, it's also about building a stronger mind.
Why is resilience important?
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from stress and adversity. It's not just about being able to endure hard times, but actually thriving amidst them. Resilience can help us cope with everyday stresses, as well as larger hardships or traumas.
And guess what? One of the most effective ways of building resilience is through physical training.
Physical training for mental toughness
Physical training pushes us past our comfort zone, and helps us learn to manage discomfort. It teaches us to keep going even when things get tough. This is why physical activity is often a key element in resilience training programs.
Add to this the fact that exercise also boosts mood, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves sleep, and it's easy to see why fitness is crucial for nurturing resilience.
Resilience-building fitness routines
Wondering what kind of exercise regimen can help build resilience? Here's a list of activities known to foster resilience:
- Endurance sports: Running, cycling, and swimming can help build mental toughness. These activities require you to keep going for extended periods of time, often in the face of fatigue.
- Strength training: Lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises not only build physical strength, but also mental strength. Each rep pushes you to your limits and teaches you to withstand discomfort.
- High intensity interval training (HIIT): These workouts are short and intense, and require you to push your boundaries. They can help you learn to tolerate discomfort and develop mental toughness.
A well-balanced fitness routine that includes all these elements could go a long way in nurturing resilience. The key is consistency and gradual progression.
Role of physical training in building resilience
The connection between physical training and resilience is not just anecdotal, it's backed by science. Research suggests that physical activity can help foster resilience by promoting neuroplasticity, improving mental health, and enhancing self-esteem.
Physical training can also help you develop discipline, perseverance, and determination – all essential traits for resilience.
So, next time you lace up your sneakers, remember that you're not just working on your physical fitness, but also nurturing your resilience.