How Strength Training is Helping Londoners Lead Happier, More Fulfilling Lives

Strength training may be catching on as a popular weight loss strategy, but Canary Wharf personal trainers in eastern London say it can also be a recipe for long-term happiness and fulfillment.

One and a half million Londoners now own a fitness club membership. It’s a reflection of how our awareness of the importance of exercise is growing. It’s also having a “boomtown” effect on the fitness industry in England’s most cosmopolitan cities. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the thriving city of Canary Wharf near the Isle of Dogs on the eastern end of London. Widely recognized as an essential financial district for the area, it’s the fitness industry that’s fueling the renewed vitality of this city.

Canary Wharf now plays host to some of the most sought-after personal trainers and most popular health clubs in England. In talking with these fitness professionals, one learns that modern gym-goers’ needs have changed profoundly since the days of the pandemic.

Today a lot of people are turning to exercise because they’re looking to do something proactive to help them live a healthier and more productive lifestyle. And strength training routines are proving to be an effective way of achieving these ends.

What is Strength Training?

Strength training exercises are gaining popularity for a variety of reasons, including weight loss. However, the definition is no different than it was in 1977 when the milestone docudrama “Pumping Iron” was released.

Also known as resistance training, strength training is a fitness routine that increases muscular strength and endurance. While often performed with weights and dumbbells, modern strength training techniques that are equally effective include bodyweight exercises (push-ups, squats, planks, etc.) and resistance band training.

Like all exercise, strength training is a form of physical stress. When done consistently, our bodies respond to this stress by building fat-burning muscle tissue which makes our bodies look leaner and more toned.

Today, fitness professionals are increasingly using strength training exercises to help their clients make the connection between fitness and mental health. In other words, personal trainers are helping people achieve a happier state of mind with strength training routines, and their success rate has been remarkable. One Canary Wharf personal trainer told us that his clients report everything from weight loss to reduced levels of depression to greater mobility in their lives, all of which are ingredients to living a more vibrant, productive lifestyle.

So, does weight loss interest you? Want to get better sleep? How about experiencing less anxiety in your life? You can reap all these benefits in one fell swoop just by adopting a consistent strength training regimen in your life. And that’s just scratching the surface.

Strength Training Just Makes You Feel…Happier!

Strength training is gaining a reputation that goes much further than toning muscles and weight loss. Today, strength training is considered a preventative strategy for fighting depression and can offer advantages comparable to taking antidepressants. Frankly, you don’t even need much exercise to notice an improvement. One study revealed that people experienced noticeable improvements in “happiness” just by adding 10 minutes of exercise to their week.

Remember, your body and brain are hardwired to produce certain hormones whenever you engage in strenuous activities. These chemicals have a positive impact on our mood and energy levels. Sometimes recognized as endorphins, think of them as your body's feel-good chemicals, and they can offer a sensation that’s comparable to that so-called "runner's high" that you’ve heard joggers talk about.

Achieve ‘Next Level’ Independence.

Real independence is when you know you don’t have to rely on anyone to do what needs doing. When you’re consistent in doing strength training activities, lifting heavy boxes or objects on your own becomes less of a problem. That’s something that can provide a real boost to our independence. For example, carrying that heavy box of kitty litter or heaving those heavy bags into the overhead bin of a plane no longer merits asking for help.

Strength training also improves muscular endurance - the ability of our muscles to work for sustained periods. That means having more stamina to handle endurance-related activities like hiking up a steep mountain with your kids or even having to traverse steep stair climbs at the local sports arena.

A Wider Range of Mobility

Another Canary Wharf personal trainer stated that his clients have reported achieving a greater range of motion by doing strength training exercises. True enough, certain strength training exercises can enhance your range of motion just as much as a good stretch session.

Here’s my point: when you have a greater range of mobility, you’re able to do more. Let’s look at squats as an example. When your strength training routine includes bodyweight squats, you can more easily stand up out of a deep couch rather than having to sit in a higher chair because you might embarrass yourself by needing to ask for help.

Mobility equates to freedom. The more we’re able to move, the more things we’re able to experience in life, and that can open a whole new world of possibilities.

Strength Training for Skin Rejuvenation! You Just Look Better!

Here’s a life hack we weren’t expecting. Another Canary Wharf personal trainer really got our attention by showing us how strength training could offer the additive effect of skin improvement. Very few people would expect that their skin would ever be a beneficiary of their strength training. You may even expect the opposite - that exercises such as lifting would stretch and harm our skin’s surface and appearance. How wrong you would be.

The truth is that strength training can make us feel younger and more vibrant at a cellular level. It’s hard to believe but studies have shown that strength training can improve the elasticity of our skin, making it appear less saggy and allowing it to snap back into shape after being stretched.

How to Start Your First Strength Training Program

If you think you need to lift heavy weights to feel as though you’re accomplishing anything with strength training, you’d be wrong. All one needs is the ability to master their own body weight and perhaps a few inexpensive resistance bands.

Here’s the rub: when it comes to achieving sustainable weight loss or a sense of fulfillment via strength training it’s imperative that you select a routine that you enjoy and will stick with. Do your research online and experiment (safely please) with different bodyweight fitness routines and/or exercises that utilize resistance bands.

Need help? One thing I learned from my trip to Canary Wharf is that personal training is as popular as ever; especially as it becomes more affordable, accessible, and convenient. A simple online search of “PT near me” is a great way to start.

Why wait? There is no right time except right now to see for yourself how working with a personal trainer can be the key to experiencing greater levels of happiness and fulfillment.

←   Back to blog