29 July, 2021
The benefits of weight training for mental health

The benefits of weight training for mental health


At the beginning of the new year, many of us are looking for new ways to support our physical and mental health.

Fortunately, there is a natural emotional boost, brain and body enhancement exercises that can bring great health effects: weight training.

Yes, weight training is a miracle of health.

And, you don’t have to be a bodybuilder or join a gym. Weight training is very user-friendly and easy to carry out at home. Strength or resistance training can be adjusted so that people of all ages, different body types and fitness levels can participate.

Strength training is a physical activity that aims to improve muscle fitness by exercising specific muscles or muscle groups against external resistance. This resistance can come from a variety of factors, including traditional free weights/dumbbells, weightlifting machines, elastic tubes, resistance bands, medicine balls, your own weight, or even a soup can or milk can full of sand.

Benefits of weight training

In addition to the fitness rewards that come with strength and weight training, you can also get a lot of health rewards for the time and energy invested.

One of the greatest physical benefits of resistance training is that it can combat muscle loss and help increase bone mineral density. With age, muscle mass decreases by about 3-8% every ten years after the age of 30, and the rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60. Postmenopausal women also have a greater risk of bone loss. This makes weight training a great way to age your body.

Using resistance exercises to build muscles can help promote metabolism and burn more calories, thereby helping to reduce weight and reduce belly fat. It also improves sleep, normalizes blood sugar and cholesterol levels, promotes cardiovascular health, and improves flexibility and mobility.

Brain health also has many benefits. In the past few years, multiple studies have shown that resistance training is related to improving cognition, memory, mood and reducing anxiety.

Ease emotional challenges

The benefits of weight training for mental health | Brain Medicine

Although research on the benefits of aerobic exercise on mental health has been going on for a long time, the impact of strength training on mental health has only been understood.

Some clinical trials have found that resistance training is associated with a significant reduction in depression. Although researchers are not entirely sure how weight training changes the brain to promote mood, there are still some clues.

First, similar to aerobic exercise, strength training stimulates the pituitary gland of the brain to release endorphins, which are morphine-like hormone molecules that enter brain neurons. This action can stop the painful impulse, resulting in a slight euphoria.

Another chemical stimulated by aerobic exercise and strength training is called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is produced in the hippocampus and has the properties of promoting emotions. Low levels of BDNF are found in people who are depressed, thus ensuring the benefits of healthy levels of this protein.

There are some feel-good brain effects that are considered unique to strength training. The researchers hypothesized that the physical adaptations associated with resistance training and muscle growth might interact with neurobiological interactions associated with depression, leading to increased mood.

Resistance exercise can also help reduce anxiety. Weight training can help reduce anxious thoughts in healthy participants and mentally healthy patients.

By acting on the same neurobiological system, knowing exactly how strength exercise can help alleviate the idea of ​​depression and anxiety provides abundant opportunities for further research.

How to start weight training

How to start weight training brain md

The good news is that you can start weight training at home now.

You can squat down a chair, push-ups, planks or other movements that require your own weight as resistance. These exercises will strengthen your core abilities and help you improve your posture (strong posture is also related to a positive appearance).

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends doing 8-12 repetitive exercises twice a week, and repeating 8-10 repetitions. These exercises target all major muscle groups at least twice a week, and give yourself at least one day after strength training. Holiday.

The American Sports Council provides free weight exercises. These are perfect for all levels of fitness.

Of course, you can also work with a personal trainer or participate in strength training fitness classes. Currently, many personal trainers and fitness studios offer online products.

Final thoughts

Researchers and laymen have discovered positive psychological effects related to weight training. Many people who have a consistent weight training program can prove how confident they are in themselves and are more physically capable in their daily work.

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The benefits of weight training for your mental health first appeared on the BrainMD Health blog.

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