What is your idea of ​​a healthy lifestyle? Eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep and exercising are probably the first things that come to mind.

Besides the variety of healthy food options, there is also a huge range of exercise options. Adding strength training to your weekly exercise routine is important for your overall health and well-being.

One of the most important benefits of strength training is protecting your joints from injury. Strong muscles give your joints a greater range of motion, and a greater range of motion can reduce the risk of injury.

Strength training can build strength around major joints such as the knees, hips, ankles and shoulders. Strong bones and boosting your metabolism are added bonuses when you incorporate a strength training program into your weekly workout.

When people hear “strength training,” many immediately think it means lifting weights only. But depending on what you desire, there are a variety of strength training options that offer similar (and sometimes safer!) options for adding this important type of training to your workout.

There are bodyweight exercises like push-ups that you can do anywhere. Circuit training is a combination of four to six exercises such as squats, push-ups, bike crunches, and jumping jacks, performed multiple times in a row with short rest periods between each round.

Resistance bands are an easy-to-go option that combines the use of your own body weight with the resistance of an object, similar to using weights, and is gentle on the joints. Using Pilates equipment, such as the Pilates Reformer, Tower or Chair, creates resistance and supports the body in space, providing the perfect opportunity to align your body, activate the core and stabilize the spine – all essential for maximizing strength training.

With so many types of strength training choices (and these are just a few ideas), it’s easy to keep your workouts fresh. Whether you train in a home gym or participate in group classes, your body will become stronger, healthier and ultimately more balanced.

Whatever your passion for strength training, stay committed. Results are only achieved by dedicating time to your weekly workouts; it’s really a matter of consistency.

A healthy and strong body takes time to maintain. Stay the course. Stay positive. Stay connected to your body. Like all other forms of exercise, strength training will improve your mood. A better mood means good mental health. Good mental health leads to a better quality of life.

Kristine Ciardello is a Pilates and group fitness instructor at Privé-Swiss Fitness, an award-winning fitness studio, located at 1587 Boston Post Road, Westbrook, 757 Boston Post Road, Madison and 57 Main Street, Ivoryton; phone: 860-391-8735; website: www.priveswissfitness.com.