You can actually watch people’s faces change from stressed to more relaxed as they workout at Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY. When you workout, you not only burn calories, you also boost your mood. The recent stay at home order caused many people to become sedentary and there was an increase awareness of depression on a national level. Society wasn’t getting the exercise they needed to chase the blues away and often mild depression became even worse. While there are medications for this mental health issue, one of the best ways to help is strength building exercises. You’ll get a benefit for the body and the mind.
Strength training has both mental and physical benefits.
Strength training is a real calorie burner that builds muscle tissue. That muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does, so it raises the body’s metabolism. That’s a huge benefit when you’re trying to lose weight. It also boosts mental health, according to the WHO—World Health Organization. The WHO suggests you get at least two days of strength training for improved bone strength, overall fitness and improved mental health. While the endorphins make you feel good, it’s more than that. Strength training helps improve sleep, reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression, improve cognitive thinking and increase self-esteem.
A meta-analysis backed the belief that exercise was good for mental health.
A meta-analysis is a study of many different studies on the same subject. One recent one was looking at those that looked at the mental health effects of strength training. The conclusion was that people who did strength training received benefits that included the reduction of depression symptoms and a significant improvement in their mental health. The studies spanned various health statuses, amount of training received and even whether they actually became stronger. For people that had no signs of depression, there was modest improvement in attitude, but for those with mild or moderate symptoms the improvement was far greater.
How does exercise actually help?
While strength training was the focus on the meta-study, other studies showed that aerobic training also helped. It helps explain why people pace when they’re under stress. Dopamine, endorphins and norepinephrine are released during exercise and these hormones boost your mood. Exercise helps build new neurons in the brain and they are the communicator cells. They release the chemicals that help keep your mind calm. Several studies show that HIIT—high intensity interval training—lowered symptoms of depression in older adults better than normal depression treatment or low intensity workouts.
- When people workout and stick with a program, they often increase their self-esteem because they’re doing something good for themselves and accomplishing goals.
- A protein— the brain-derived neurotrophic factor—is boosted via exercise. That protein is lower in people that have depression.
- An 11-year study of 34,000 adults showed that people who exercised as little as an hour or two a week were far less likely to be depressed than those who didn’t by as much as 44 %.
- Exercise helps improve sleep and improved sleep is a great way to help avoid depression.
For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training