Mental Health gets a Boost from Strength Training
A great deal of attention has been paid to the role of aerobic exercise, less is known about the role of strength training in mental health outcomes. The benefits of strength training and the link to the brain are undeniable. A fitness journey usually has one focused on the body, but we are here to explain that the mind is also the recipient of all the great training you put in. There are key mental health benefits of strength training, and lifting weights is good for both the body and the mind.
Key Mental Health Benefits of Strength Training
Easing Depression Symptoms: Scientists only recently have begun to investigate whether and how weight training might also affect mental health. A 2018 review of studies, for instance, concluded that adults who lift weights are less likely to develop depression than those who never lift.
Increased Confidence: Weight training raises self-esteem. One component of good psychological health is having healthy self-esteem: a feeling of self-worth and value. A large meta-analysis of 113 studies did find that strength training did lead to a small increase in self-esteem.
Improved Brain Function: Studies suggest that, in older adults, resistance training can improve and delay the decline in memory, attention, and decision making.
Mental Wellbeing: Once you have finished your session and looked back on your performance, you reflect on your accomplishments and areas for improvement. You also get a deep sense of satisfaction when you reach goals, especially those that before seemed like a near-impossible task to overcome. For the average person, it is quite hard to find activities in life that can put you in a similar state of presence, without the inherent risk involved.
To sum up, there are key mental health benefits of strength training, and lifting weights is good for both the body and the mind. Strength training alone is unlikely to serve as a cure for depression or anxiety, but it can help you manage both conditions, improving both your physical and psychological wellbeing.
Lifting weights regularly can help change the structure and function of your brain, as well as trigger the release of chemicals that make you feel better. Don’t pass up the opportunity to test out some critical adaptive workouts that can lead to these amazing results. Check out Kakana’s Kettlebell, Cross Training, and Crosscycle classes as they all involve weights.