7 Mental Health Benefits Of Strength Training We Should Not Ignore

By Lavanya

Jun 28, 20247 mins read

7 Mental Health Benefits Of Strength Training We Should Not Ignore

We have written at length about the physical health benefits of strength training. How resistance training can help us improve energy levels, build muscle mass, reduce harmful visceral fat, sleep better, improve endurance, improve lung capacity, and help those of us with heart disease, and various lifestyle diseases ... strength training is very good for improving your physical strength. 


Strength training can even help you live longer!


But what about the impact of strength training on mental health? Can weight training help alleviate symptoms of depression, improve our overall mood and mental energy, have a positive impact on brain health, and even reduce anxiety symptoms?   


What are some of the key mental health benefits of strength training?


Better quality of sleep


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Sleep is vital for our mental and physical well-being. On average, adult humans need at least 9 hours of rest. New mothers, children, and the old and infirm need more. When our regular sleep cycle gets disrupted, it causes our internal systems to go haywire and adversely affect our mental state. 


One of the main advantages of strength training is that it can help regulate sleep patterns and thereby, improve sleep quality. Intense physical activity stimulates our brain to release tryptophan, which helps produce the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin helps to calm and relax our body and get better quality of sleep.  


Reduction of stress and improvement of mood


The rigors and demands of modern life can leave everyone in a heightened state of stress. Deadlines, targets, P/L margins, meetings - the corporate world has plenty to create tension in the calmest of minds. Engaging in regular strength training helps release pent-up stress and tension, and induces relaxation, which can only mean great things for our mental well-being. 


Regular exercise, be it aerobic exercise or with heavy weights, is an effective way to manage our stress and improve our mood. When pursued regularly, strength training is great at reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Sticking to a sound exercise routine also has the added benefit of boosting your self-confidence.


Release of Endorphins


Have you heard your runner friends talk of the 'runners high'? One of the most pleasant benefits of exercise is the release of feel-good endorphins into your bloodstream. Intense physical exercises like running, strength training exercises, swimming, aerobic exercises and even achieving your fitness goal can cause your body to release a rush of endorphins, and make you feel like you are on top of the world. 


These endorphins are the body's natural mood elevators and painkillers. Having them swimming in your blood can leave you with a blissful sense of well-being.  


Promoting Resilience


Resistance training is a great way to help rid someone of their negative body image. Experts caution us on how we talk to ourselves, about ourselves, as this can harm our perception of self.  When mental stress gets too much to bear, providing one with a degree of control over his/her body can help promote resilience. 


The controlled stress environment of the world of weight training requires us to leave the noise of the world behind and adapt to a different kind of stress. By helping build physical strength, weight training can help foster a more positive mindset by helping them adapt to stress. 


Reduce Social Isolation


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At The Quad, we are immensely proud of our thriving fitness community. Banding together because of their love of fitness and strength training has caused the various members from all over the world to come together. 


Training in a group and/or towards a common goal can lift the lowest of low mood and help foster camaraderie. This in turn helps make social connections easier, giving one a feeling of belonging and reducing the isolation that mental ill-health often lands us in. 


Improve Mind-body Connection


All types of exercise require focus. Some can cause us to get into the zone so much that we can lose ourselves. But weight training demands both focus AND concentration. At all times, you must be aware of your breath and your body. This results in heightened awareness of your body and mind, resulting in a strong mind-body connection.


The more you keep at it, the more heightened your awareness becomes. 


Enhanced Cognitive Function


From inception, the brain can naturally adapt and reorganize itself. This neuroplasticity is vital for our brain health and survival. Studies show that strength training can improve our brain's cognitive function and reduce the risk of neurodegeneration and cognitive decline. 


By exercising regularly, we can enjoy enhanced cognitive abilities such as better memory, concentration, executive function, attention, and overall cognitive performance 


Numerous studies done on the subject prove that there is significant improvement in not only the overall health of people but specifically in those suffering from mental health issues, including significant reductions in symptoms. The impact and benefit of strength training cannot be overstated.