You've probably heard 100 or more reasons why strength training can be physically beneficial to you, but have you ever considered the benefits of strength training for your mental health and stress levels?
Today I want to talk to you about how keeping stress levels low through regular strength training will benefit you and your lifestyle.
Keeping stress levels at a lower, more manageable level is so important for your health.
Most of us have experienced elevated stress levels at some point in our lives, and I’m sure you'd agree that being in a state of high stress is not very fun at all. Not only that, but high stress levels can have a huge impact on your mental and physical health due to the hormones produced when we are stressed.
A lot of us spend our days whizzing from one activity to the next within our careers, parenthood, social life and all the other commitments we may have.
Can you remember the last time you took a step back and focused on creating a calm headspace within your mind?
This is where strength training can be of huge benefit when looking to reduce stress levels, very simply put - it’s time just for you!
Let’s discuss some of the direct stress-busting benefits of strength training
- Say hello to some new endorphins. Strength training will boost the production of your brain's feel-good hormones - your endorphins. Endorphins reduce your perception of pain and can promote feelings of euphoria, like that feeling when you smash your workout and finish on an absolute high.
- Sometimes, your mood just needs a lift. Regular strength training and exercise has been proven to improve self-confidence, lift your mood, help you relax and lower symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- More and better quality sleep. Whatever is causing you stress in your life will always feel worse if you are not getting enough recovery-promoting sleep. A regular training program will encourage better sleep habits. This is partly due to the energy expended during your workout, but also because the focus needed to perform your lifts creates space for your mind to be present, almost like mental meditation.
- Boosting your self-esteem and confidence. Becoming a master of anything and progressing through a skill will give you a feeling of pride and boost self-efficacy when you see yourself continually achieving your goals. Higher self-esteem and confidence equals lower stress levels.
- Relief of stress-induced muscle tension. Back pain, neck pain, headaches and other tension-related problems can be improved by using these muscles in strength training. Having a regular strength training program will improve posture, give you closer control of the muscles that you're carrying tension in, and help alleviate these physical stress symptoms.
We could delve deeply into the studies published around endorphins, anxiety, and stress levels, but I believe the answer to be quite simple.
Resistance training gives you some me-time. It helps you to switch off from what can be the mania of everyday life, you will meet like-minded people who will motivate you and support you, and you will gain a sense of pride in your achievements that, no matter what else is going on in your life, can’t be taken away.
When everything feels like it’s a bit chaotic and twirly, your training program can be your one constant and reliable factor that will always be there for you no matter what.
What’s the lesson to be learned here?
Feeling stressed? Go and throw some weight around and see what it does for your mood!