MAKE YOUR HEALTH A PRIORITY
The benefits of weight lifting for Mental Health
When faced with a mental health-related issue, many people turn to medication. While this is sometimes necessary, it’s not the only solution. Weight training is a form of exercise that releases endorphins, and improves our physical health through muscle movement. There has been a lot written on how beneficial exercise can be for anxiety sufferers, so much so that one article went as far as dubbing “exercise itself” to be a treatment method in its own right (Borysenko 1985). While this may seem like overkill, we have all seen first-hand what regular physical activity can do for a person, both physically and mentally. Weight training is a great way to help prevent and overcome symptoms of depression and in this post, we will discuss how weight training can improve your mental health and hopefully give you the tools you need to live a healthier life.
Weight training should not take the place of medication or therapy for anyone with anxiety or depression-related issues. But it’s an important piece in our physical wellness puzzle-and one worth exploring if all else fails. It has been shown time and again as a way to manage these conditions better when other treatment methods have failed them.
According to the Harvard Heallth Review & The American Psychological Association (APA). From a physiological standpoint, exercise has been shown to increase the size of the brain that regulates mood. This is called the hippocampus, and we know that people with depression tend to have a smaller hippocampus than those without depression.
Some studies have looked at how aerobic exercise compares with psychiatric medications that are often prescribed as a treatment for major depressive disorder, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
A 2000 study showed that after participating in a 10-month aerobic exercise regimen, people with major depressive disorder were significantly less depressed than those who took simply took medication. In other words, it can be a helpful form of treatment.
Your training doesn’t have to be a hardcore balls to the wall training regime and you don’t even need to have an aesthetic goal in mind, just the ability to get out and train will be a benefit in itself and a great start to becoming a healthier stronger version of yourself. Everyone deserves some time for themselves; make your workouts about yourself and not an obligation or chore.
If you’re struggling to find the motivation, just remember that it is never too late. Every day of training will be a step in the right direction.
-improves mood and brain function.
-increase bone density, muscle size and strength.
-lowers blood pressure, cholesterol levels, risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.
There are many other benefits such as improved energy level, decreased symptoms for PMS and increased sleep quality to list just a few, but I’ll leave the rest for you to uncover. The beauty is in the journey of discovering your own personal experience with training.
The best part about this whole process is that it’s totally free! You can workout at home or in the gym; anything goes because all we care about is feeling better.
Choose a training program that you will enjoy and the exercises do not have to require a lot of physical strength, so you can start doing them at any point in your life. You don’t have to do these exercises every day; even two times per week is sufficient because they will still give us some benefits.