Investing in Strength: How Weightlifting Could Help You Beat Depression
Weightlifting has become a very popular form of exercise for both men and women in recent years. Active listed the many benefits of weightlifting as increasing physical work capacity, improving bone density, burning fat, and improving the overall quality of life the participants.
Weightlifting is a fundamental and indispensable component of any effective training program. Health IQ also underlines that weightlifters significantly lower their risk of cardiovascular mortality by 41%. Weightlifting can help you burn a lot of calories and facilitates blood circulation throughout your body. This in turn helps you become fitter which means your heart doesn’t have to work twice as hard as it would if you were living an unhealthy lifestyle. Aside from the physical benefits, weightlifting has also been proven to be an effective method to treat depression.
In 2015, The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reported that approximately 16.1 million adults in the U.S. experienced some form of depression, which equated to a worrying 6.7% of all American adults. As cases around the world continue to grow, weightlifting offers a solution to help alleviate this common condition without relying on anti-depressive medicines.
Tufts University documented in a study that weight lifting promotes a healthy state of mind via a helpful biochemical change in the brain. As weightlifting helps you to become stronger, you also enhance your sense of self-confidence because you put greater effort in your welfare and working towards certain health goals. By sticking to a weight lifting program, you also regularly supply your body with a rush of endorphins. This chemical change in your body takes place during and post-workout. This boost not only heightens your energy levels, but also drives your mood into a sunnier disposition. As you start reaping the physical and mental gains, you become more focused and determined to keep pushing your fitness to the next level. This mindset and routine allows you to focus more on weightlifting as a means towards self-improvement as well as physical fitness.
Consequently, when you lift weights on a regular basis, you get to improve your sleep quality and quantity as well. This is a result that contributes to mental fitness. Moreover, weight training may counter the aging process from a mental standpoint. The New York Times notes that studies have shown that weight training can help reduce the amount the brain shrinks as we age. In a study conducted using three test groups made up of women, one of which were required to lift weights for a year, scientists reported that the weightlifting group “displayed significantly less shrinkage and tattering of their white matter.” One of the researchers concluded that it showed how impactful exercise can be on the human mind.
Aside from physically improving your body, the social aspect of working out with friends can be hugely beneficial. NDTV revealed a study by the American Osteopathic Association, which showed that working out in a group lowered stress by 26% compared to those who exercised individually. One researcher from the University of New England told the news site: “The communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues, and doing something difficult, while encouraging one another, pays dividends beyond exercising alone.” While sustaining motivation is key to following an exercise routine, working out with friends is one of the best ways to stay fit and fight off depression.