If you’re heard or better yet experienced the runner’s high before, you would have noticed the immediate positive effect running has on your mental state of being. Well, there ‘s one form of physical training that trumps all other formats when it comes to bettering your mental health—weight training or even resistant training using your bodyweight.
Why? Because weightlifting boost hormones promote the feel-good hormones in your body.
Doing so can help you build yourself up from episodes of anxiety, depression, and even OCD’s.
The fact that resistance exercise elevates your mood, has been proven by multiple studies in the past. The studies suggest that exercise can reduce your gloom, no matter how you feel before you step into a workout.
Research also suggests that resistance exercise can both prevent depression as well as treat it. One of the largest reviews involving more than a million people, proved that working out can reduce the risk and help treating someone who is battling with clinical depression.
The two latest studies that extensively looked at how weight training that reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression are quite confidence inspiring.
The first one published in the 2017 journal of Sports Medicine, found that lifting weights reduces your symptoms of anxiety. The second one published in the JAMA psychiatry, found that lifting weights can ease and prevent the build up of depression.
Both these studies are invaluable because they are comprehensive meta-analyses (a comprehensive review of multiple experiments put together) and not just one-off findings. They don’t exactly pinpoint how
It’s likely a combination of changes in both biology and psychology, says Lindsey Brooke Hopkins, a psychologist in Oakland, California.
In addition, she says, weight training helps you learn to “endure the physical and emotional discomfort” that comes with pushing hard, which Hopkins says is actually congruent with the goals of clinical approaches like cognitive behavioural therapy, according to Outside Online.
In the short term, “something about the physical exertion really lifts my mood,” he says. “The longer-term effect is that weightlifting makes me feel empowered, confident, and ready to take on any challenge there may be the rest of the day,” says Scott Barry Kaufman, a cognitive psychologist who has experienced repeated bouts of generalized anxiety disorder.
There are some predictable patterns of improvement.
“What seems to be consistent is a person with depression being in a state of I can’t and then seeing some signs of I can. Depression is a paucity of hope and anxiety is a paucity of confidence.”
“Sports, particularly those that intentionally engage physical discomfort as a requisite for success, seem higher yield in their engagement of I can,” Stotesbery says.
Evidence suggests that lifting anywhere between 2-4 days in a week can help ease the burden of anxiety and depression. So what are you waiting for? Get under that bar and start lifting.