Why lifting weights is good for your mental health
Strength training and lifting weights has become one of the major fitness trends this year. Lifting heavy weights isn’t just limited to bodybuilders and bikini competitors – or men! Ladies are proving they can lift, too.
Lifting heavy weights can do wonders for your body, such as increasing lean muscle, defining muscle tone and boosting your metabolism. But lifting weights isn’t just limited to the wonderful physical benefits. Strength training has many mental benefits that complement the physical benefits and improve your overall health.
Decreases depression & anxiety: increasing the feel-good factor
With any form of activity, your body releases endorphins so you earn the feel-good factor after your workout. Through releasing them, they not only stimulate the pleasure parts of the brain and elevate your mood, but also reduce stress and anxiety. It’s through lifting that we can release all the pent-up stress from daily inconveniences or long-term problems. Strength training can help you to forget them or help you solve them with a clear perspective on them after you’ve finished in the gym.
Better brain power
Exercise can improve your cognitive thinking, with researchers looking into its effects on dementia in later life. Through doing repetition exercises, it keeps your brain focuses and you concentrate on keeping good form as to avoid injury. Your concentration levels improve outside of your workout routine. This is good news for your work life too, as you’ll feel able to take on any task at work, no matter how hard it may seem. Doing reps in strength training has a surprising effect on your memory too! Studies have shown that they can improve your short- and long-term memory.
After strength training, you’ll feel the tiredness affects afterward before going to bed; but as exercise improves your sleep quality, your body is repairing itself through the night so you sleep deeper. Over time, you’ll find yourself feeling more energetic and less fatigued during the day.
We all know that you can get “runner’s high” after a major cardio session. Strength training can improve your self-esteem in both the short- and long-term. This isn’t just because you see results quicker and have a better physique afterward. Recent studies have shown that people who did strength training in comparison to a cardio training group had significantly better self-esteem over the study’s period. They also experienced “feelings of getting stronger” as a way of giving them that extra boost. With you confidence brimming, you’ll feel like taking on any weight (being realistic though) – you’ll feel like you can do anything!
With all these great benefits from strength training, you’ll feel like really pushing yourself into it! If you’re new to lifting weights, you can always have a few sessions with a Personal Trainer to guide you through the basics or stick through tailored training with them. Then you’ll be exercising your brain and body muscles for a happier and healthier you!