The mental benefits of weight-training

The admiration of toned bodies of models, athletes and fitness enthusiasts are the products of rigorous strength training. Society recognizes that lifting weights and eating a balanced diet provides countless physical benefits. However, people don’t realize is that strength training can also provide a significant change in mental health. Good evidence shows that strength training alone can tackle a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, chronic pain (lower back, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis), self-esteem, sleep, and cognition. Here a few things that weight training can help you gain some brain power.

1) Improved Brain Cognition

Lab studies on mice shows that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells called neurogenesis and improve overall brain performance. In addition, tougher workouts can increase levels of a brain-derived protein called BDNF (Brain-derived neurotropic factor), which is correlated with decision-making, higher thinking and learning.

2) Improved Memory

Regular weight lifting sessions can boost memory and learning new skills. This is due to the increased production of cells in the hippocampus, responsible for memory retention. According to a study from George Tech, compared to any other exercises that can yield similar results, significant increases in memory can occur within 20 minutes of exercise as a “single bout of resistance exercise performed during consolidation can enhance episodic memory and that the effect of valence on memory depends on the physiological response to the exercise.”

3) Fight Depression

There are times where stress, personal issues and life can lead us into depression. People dive into different outlets to curb depression such as counseling. However, weight training can reduce these symptoms. A Harvard study once found that “ten weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than counseling. This is particularly important for women since they are more than twice as likely to experience depression and only one out of three actually seek care.” With weight training, it will give an instant release of “feel good” hormones called endorphins. Anything can be achievable if you can get through your grueling workout.

With more energy to complement your new body in workout, you can tackle just about anything life throws at you.

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