It’s no secret that strength training offers many physical health benefits. These benefits typically include increased muscle mass, strength and body toning, increased bone density, and fat loss. It also reduces the risk of falls and joint injuries and improves heart health. However, little is known about its benefits for mental health. Several studies show that strength training, in particular, improves low mood, loss of interest and feelings of worthlessness.

Why strength training?

Physical activity has countless benefits for the body, but it also has antidepressant effects. For example, a study Published in the journal “PLOS One” found that when women participated in resistance training three times a week, their depression symptoms improved. Remember that many symptoms of depression make a person feel burdened; Thus, they do not tend to remain physically active.

research has shown that strength training improves mental health. This is due to the simple fact that physical activity triggers a phenomenon known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). These are responsible for the growth and development of neurons. In addition to improving symptoms associated with depression, strength training reduces anxiety and stress levels, and improves sleep habits. So it’s clear that there are many reasons to start strength training, not only for your physical health but also for your mental health!

assessing your mental health

When it comes to mental health, it’s important to get an accurate picture of your current condition. This means taking a look at both your mental and physical health. Assessing your physical health includes several measures, including blood pressure, body composition and cholesterol levels. Similarly, you can assess mental health through self-reporting questionnaires and a thorough clinical assessment.

When assessing your mental health, you should consider how you are feeling from day to day and over an extended period of time. You should also consider how you perform in specific areas of your life. Some questions you might want to ask yourself include:

  • how is my mood
  • Do I have difficulty concentrating or making decisions?
  • Do I feel like I’m struggling to deal with things?
  • Do I feel like I am experiencing frequent feelings of sadness or loneliness?
  • Are there times when I feel really good, and other times I feel really bad?
  • Do I find it difficult to make friends or socialize?
  • Am I having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?

If you answer “yes” to any three of these questions, you may be facing mental health problems. In such cases, it is important to contact a mental health professional. Also, you should never self-medicate. While exercise certainly helps with mental health complaints, it is up to a doctor or professional to advise your treatment plan.

Strong muscles can help you feel stronger and more confident. In addition, it can help you with better self-esteem and ability to manage stress better. This makes strength training a great tool for maintaining your mental and physical health. There are several known ways in which strength training has shown significant improvements in functioning.

depression

Studies 12 have found that strength exercise can help patients with mild to moderate depression, as well as antidepressants. Research shows that maintaining an exercise program can prevent you from relapsing or finding yourself with worse symptoms than before.

Exercise is a powerful depression fighter because it promotes nerve growth, reduces inflammation, and ensures all kinds of changes in the brain that make you feel good. Exercise also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and bring joy to the body. Lastly, exercise can be a distraction and give you much-needed quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression.

anxiety

Exercise has scientific benefits in reducing general anxiety. Interestingly, you’ll get excellent results when you focus on your exercise movements instead of zoning out while you’re doing it. Since strength training requires you to use moderate to heavy weights, you need to focus more on the movement to avoid injury. Adding mindfulness to your workouts can help improve your condition and relieve anxiety by focusing on the sensations that move through your body during exercise.

PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

To cope with PTSD or trauma, people sometimes focus on how their body feels. By paying close attention to physical sensations, tension, the nervous system can become unstable and the immobilization can begin to take off from the stress response. Strength training most likely helps improve movements that involve cross movements and multi-limb coordination, such as walking or running, swimming, weight-training or dancing. That’s why strength training is such a good option.

Some physical symptoms of stress can include headaches, back or neck pain, and muscle spasms. You may also have abdominal pain and constipation. Physical symptoms can cause more stress, creating a vicious circle between mind and body.

Exercise is a great way to break the cycle that can lead to this disorder. Plus, when your body feels better, your mind feels better too.

chronic pain

Strength training can help reduce and manage pain from chronic issues. For example, a common form of chronic pain is lower back pain, which can be caused by a disc injury or muscle strain. Strength training for these issues reduces pain and increases physical activity for people with back pain. In addition, strength training may also have mental benefits such as a reduction in the symptoms of knee and hip osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.

promotes brain health

With strength training, people of all ages can have better brain power and less cognitive decline. For example, a. during studyAdults over the age of 55 who exercised twice weekly for six months had improvements in their brain scores.

in another study, adults lifted 80% of their 1RM, or maximum weight for one rep. This roughly equates to the amount of weight they can lift for eight reps without breaking form. As you age, it is essential to keep up with the strength and elasticity you had when you were relatively young. It helps in achieving daily functioning and overall higher quality of life.

Numerous studies and research prove the positive effect of exercise (especially strength training) on ​​mental health. Scientific evidence and surveys show that strength training exercises can help reduce the symptoms of various mental health disorders, whether it is anxiety, depression or just stress. That’s why it is very important to be active. Strength training is one of the most accommodating ways to stay active and doesn’t affect daily functioning.

overcoming obstacles to exercise

In addition to regular health benefits, strength training can also help prevent or reduce symptoms of a variety of conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and diabetes. Unfortunately, some people find it hard to exercise regularly or do so. However, as we have seen, it can be harmful to your health. It is important to keep your body active and mobile no matter what. So, if you experience any issues with it, here are some tips for overcoming the hurdles in exercising:

set small goals

When starting out, it can be helpful to set small goals to build momentum. That way, you’re more likely to stick to your routine and see real results.

Joining a strength training group or club can be a great way to connect with people who share your interest in fitness and wellness. This can encourage you to stay motivated and stick with your exercise regime.

set realistic expectations

Just because you start exercising doesn’t mean you should become a gym rat overnight. Remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time as you see progress.

Enough Sleep

This is one of the most overlooked but important practices. Exercising or exercising energizes you and activates your muscles. However, your body needs adequate rest for the muscles to rejuvenate and heal. Therefore, it is important to get enough sleep and rest to be able to continue with your exercise routine.

conclusion

Strength training can improve your mental health in many ways. Not only does it help you maintain or achieve your fitness goals, but it also has the potential to improve your mood, cognitive function, and even stress levels. Therefore, if you are looking for an effective way to boost your mental well-being, strength training is an excellent option.

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