What do you think of when you hear the word “strong"? Do images of athletes with bulging muscles fill your mind? Maybe you picture a wrestler. Perhaps a football player comes to mind.

Of course, big muscles aren't really necessary to be strong. Physically, your body is made up of hundreds of muscles. Some are tiny and some are large. But they don't have to be as big as balloons to make you a strong person.

Many people who eat right and exercise regularly are physically strong. They might not look like a bodybuilder, but their muscles are in tip-top shape. Their physical strength might surprise you, because they might not look like you usually expect a really strong person to look like.

Keeping your muscles in good shape is an important part of being healthy. Your muscles help your body get around and function like it should. If you want to feel your best, don't neglect your muscles. Eating the right foods and getting plenty of exercise will keep your muscles in good condition.

You don't need to lift weights or do special exercises to stay healthy. If you want to lift weights or develop stronger muscles in a particular part of your body, talk to your parents and ask them to help you come up with a plan to meet your health goals.

Being a strong person can be about much more than just physical strength, though. Some of the strongest people you know might be physically weak. How can they be strong then? Different people can be strong in different ways. Some people possess great mental or emotional strength.

For example, strength can be measured by how determined a person is to achieve a goal or how a person perseveres through a difficult challenge. Strength can also be measured by how you treat others: are you a good listener? Are you kind? Are you generous?

We all have individual strengths that we need to discover and develop. The important thing to realize and remember is that you are strong. Now get going identifying and using your strengths!

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