Lifting weights is usually done to improve one’s body, but now you have another motivation to do so. Strength exercise may also be beneficial to your mental health. Even if you have an outstanding body and the strength of an ox, if you’re stressed out and have bad mental health, it won’t bring you joy. Strength training, fortunately, may help you with both. Here are five unexpected mental health advantages of fighting against resistance in your body.
- Strength Training is a Mood Booster
When you start working out, your brain undergoes changes. The activity of brain chemicals that regulate mood is one of these alterations. Even a single workout session, according to studies, induces a shift in neurotransmitter levels, which impact how you feel and your state of mind.
Exercise also increases the release of endorphins, which are feel-good, pain-relieving chemicals that elevate your mood and make you feel calmer. Endorphins are beneficial to runners, but if done at a high enough intensity, even strength training can increase endorphins. Endorphin release is determined by the intensity of activity, according to studies. Strength-training can also stimulate endorphin release if you move swiftly from activity to exercise and build up a sweat.
- Strength Training Reduces Anxiety
What could be more uncomfortable than sweaty palms and continual worry as a result of stress and anxiety? Strength exercise can assist you in controlling your racing, nervous thoughts. There’s mounting evidence that strength training helps people cope with stress better. In healthy people without anxiety problems, frequent strength training decreased anxiety and stress-related symptoms even more than aerobic exercise, according to one research. It’s understandable. Strength training boosts self-esteem and confidence, which can help people cope better with stressful situations. And, unlike anti-anxiety drugs, there are no negative side effects. The majority of studies on strength training and anxiety focused on persons in their twenties and thirties. It’s unclear whether the same benefits apply to elderly people.
- Strength Training Improves Sleep
It’s aggravating to have trouble falling asleep, and sleep deprivation is bad for your mental and physical health. Cardiovascular activity has been shown to enhance sleep, particularly in persons who exercise first thing in the morning. Strength exercise, on the other hand, may provide similar advantages. Researchers at Appalachian State University utilised sleep tracking devices to find that those who strength exercised in the morning fell asleep faster than those who strength trained in the afternoon or early evening. Those who lifted in the evening, on the other hand, had higher sleep quality and fewer midnight awakenings. So, if you have no trouble falling asleep but wake up frequently, nighttime strength exercise may help you get a better night’s sleep. Working your body against resistance, regardless of when you do it, may help you sleep better.
- Strength Training Improves Self-Esteem
Strength exercise can make you feel better about yourself if you have a high self-esteem and are psychologically robust. Strengthening your muscles and mastering strength-training routines boosts your confidence and gives you a “can-do” attitude that will help you achieve in other areas. Strength training has been shown in studies to boost self-esteem in young people and young adults, which may lead to higher life success.
- Strength Training May Improve Cognition
The processing of information is one of your brain’s most crucial processes. Aerobic exercise, according to studies, creates new connections between brain cells, resulting in improved connectivity. This can help you recall things better by improving how your brain processes information. What about strength training, though? Strength training enhances various elements of cognition in older persons, including memory and executive functioning, according to a 2010 research. Strength training once or twice a week improved executive function in older women, according to one research.