Have you ever felt fit and physically confident after a strength training session? Why not! After all, an intense session’s symptoms, such as perspiration, sore muscles, and elevated heart rate, all give you the impression that you accomplished something. Aside from everything else, there is something more you might be overlooking. Any guesses? Well, we’re talking about the strength training benefits for mental health.
HealthShots got in touch with Vaneeta Batra, transformation life coach and fitness enthusiast, to find out how strength training workout is beneficial for mental health. Before that, let’s take you through a short description of strength training.
What is strength training?
As a beginner, strength training may seem intimidating, especially if you’re not guided by an expert. Strength training is just a set of physical exercises that are designed to increase your stamina and strength. Weightlifting, swimming, resistance band training, aerobics, and other activities are included in strength training, commonly referred to as weight training.
Is strength training good for women?
Country to popular belief, strength training supports women’s efforts to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Women can benefit from strength training in many ways, both physically and mentally. It enhances bone health, increases metabolism, aids in weight loss, improves the quality of life, and even helps with mental health. It also helps to develop muscle.
Also read: 7 must-have movement patterns in your strength training plan
Mental health benefits of strength training
Any kind of exercise has profound effects on brain structure. Even low-intensity exercise, like a daily walk in the garden, might improve your mental health. Strength training also has positive effects on mental health.
When it comes to strength training, it can enhance the way your brain works. From maintaining hormonal balance to improving your sleep cycle—all of these positive improvements can benefit your mental health.
Here are 5 top advantages of strength training for mental health according to Batra:
1. Clear up your brain
Strength training gives people the chance to overcome barriers to better mental health by lowering their chances of developing conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression. These problems clog your brain and thinking and cause confusion. Endorphins are released in abundance during strength training, which improves mood and clears the mind.
2. Lower anxiety and stress levels
Strength training brings down the stress hormone, cortisol, which helps to calm your mind and body. It releases endorphins, which is a ‘feel good’ hormone and it reduces anxiety. Hormones affect your body and your mental state and strength training helps maintain your hormonal health.
3. Improves mood
Your mind and body will always work better thanks to improved blood flow, muscular swelling, and hard work. Strength exercise improves mood and sleep cycle by increasing endorphin flow and allowing them to circulate more easily throughout the body both during and afterwards.
Also read: Strength training: Exercises for beginners to get stronger
4. Reduce the feeling of worthlessness
Your body is less likely to experience hormonal imbalance if you do strength exercises. This helps to further develop brain cells, lessen feelings of worthlessness, and start feeling a sense of accomplishment. Also, when your body gets more toned and fit, it also increases your confidence and self-esteem.
5. Enhance overall mental health
By the end of a strength training exercise, the sensation of pain and fatigue sweeping through your body is so powerful that it’s almost impossible for your attention to be anywhere else. Hence, it positively enhances the function of your brain
Tips to perform strength training exercises
Strength training should be combined with a warm-up session to get the muscles ready for the workout and a cool-down with static stretching to lengthen the muscles. If done correctly, warming up and cooling down can help prevent injury.