Mental Benefits of Strength Training


Mental Health Benefits of Doing Strength Training

Good health involves more than just a disease-free body and fit physique. Your mental health matters just as much: A sound mind contributes to your overall well-being by empowering you with the resolve to meet your physical health objectives. Personal growth, emotional resilience, successful relationships and the ability to make good choices also stem from mental stability. Health professionals have explored the mental benefits of strength training and came up with this list!

Anxiety

Anxiety is an issue that plagues many, affecting as much as 15 percent of the US population. Researchers examined both aerobic exercise and strength training as potential anxiety reducers and found both to be effective. Randomized controlled trials involving both healthy adults and medical patients show that strength training has a beneficial impact on anxiety. In particular, moderate intensity strength training reduces anxiety symptoms more than high intensity.

Chronic Pain

Strength training also reduces chronic pain issues, which can contribute to a decline in mental health. One of the most common forms of chronic pain is lower back pain. It’s often caused by disc injury or muscle strain from insufficient core muscle tone. Medically supervised strength training for back pain not only reduces this pain but also increases physical functioning for back pain sufferers. Furthermore, studies support the mental benefits of strength training as well as pain reduction, specifically in symptom reduction for knee and hip osteoarthritis, as well as fibromyalgia.

Depression

Depression can be fatal and costs the US in excess of $50 billion each year, but strength training can help with this mental health affliction. Evidentlly, exercise of all types helps ease depression, but the studies involving strength training alone have all yielded positive results. Fibromyalgia patients derive a double benefit from strength training: pain reduction and a moderate reduction in symptoms of depression. Those diagnosed with depression fare even better and have large reductions in symptoms when they incorporate strength training into their lives.

Chronic Fatigue

Strength training combats chronic fatigue by giving sufferers more energy as they get in shape. Even if you don’t suffer from this condition, you might be one of the almost 25 percent of the population who have persistent fatigue. Once again, the prognosis for strength training participants is promising, as at least ten trials have demonstrated that this type of exercise can reduce fatigue.

Cognition

Incorporating strength training into an exercise regime along with aerobic exercise improves cognition among older adults. Memory, in particular, seems to benefit from the strength training component, with four studies demonstrating its effectiveness in boosting this cognitive process.

Sleep

Consistently getting a good night’s sleep is vital for good health, both physical and mental. Regular strength training not only improves both the quality and duration of your sleep, but also reduces the risk of developing sleep disorders. While high-intensity strength training produces a stronger effect, low-intensity workouts still yield improvements.

Self-Esteem

Healthy self-esteem is a cornerstone of good mental health, assessed by things like your personal relationships or your fitness level. Improvements in each area can affect overall self-esteem. Strength training, through its effects on physical health, improves global self-esteem and, in doing so, improves mental health.

physical fitness training and mental health

Activ5 Can Help Achieve the Mental Benefits of Strength Training

The Activ5 portable fitness device enables you to strength train with simple exercises that provide a full body workout. With short workouts and seated exercises that can be done almost anywhere, you can easily obtain your strength training objective. This mobile app-enabled fitness tool is customizable to your fitness level, meaning it can improve stamina no matter what your current level is. This gamified workout tool makes strength training easy!

Make strength training a part of your daily exercise routine to reap the mental benefits that it provides. Whether it’s a home workout, hotel workout or even exercise on an airplane, the Activ5 is your portable strength training solution.

Sources:

Mental Benefits of Strength Training by O’Connor

Mental_Health_Benefits_of_Strength_Training-2010-O_Connor-377-96.pdf

http://www.ripsych.org/importance-of-mental-health

Top 10 Isometric Exercise Benefits


Top 10 Isometric Exercise Benefits

Isometric exercises are proven to help build muscle, strength, balance and range of motion. Other isometric exercise benefits include stress reduction, improved mental health, assistance with yoga exercises and injury avoidance. Here are some of the specific isometric exercise benefits.

Lowers Blood Pressure

•             Isometrics have been proven to reduce systolic blood pressure better than aerobic and resistance training in some studies. – Mayo Clinic

Aids in Weight Loss

•             Isometric exercise benefits include reducing both body fat and weight. In a test group, some subjects lost as much as 22 pounds over a 4-week period. – Journal of Applied Research

Saves You Time

•             Using isometric exercise for 6 minutes would be the equivalent muscle work of 30 to 35 minutes on a commercial weight lifting equipment. – Journal of Applied Research

Reduce Overall Pain

•             Older adults experience significant reduction in pain subsequent to several different intensities and durations of isometric contractions. – Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine

Reduce Back Pain

•             Isometrics reduces pain and increases vitality among women with low back pain, with effects lasting at least 9 months. –  Journal of Physical Activity and Health

Improve Range of Motion

•             Regular isometric exercises have been shown to significantly improve range of motion. – Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research

Quit Bad Habits (Smoking)

•             Brief isometric exercise provides immediate relief in the desire to smoke. –Human Psychopharmacology Journal

Get Stronger and Bigger Muscles

•             Isometric exercise is associated with an increase in muscle bulk, upper and lower body strength, increase in bone density, and a decrease in bone fractures. – The Journal of Clinical Hypertension

 Benefits Over Aerobic Exercise

•             Stretching and aerobic exercising alone have proven to be a less effective form of training than isometric strength training. -Journal American Medical Association (JAMA)

Improve Stamina

•             Isometric strength training can have beneficial effects on performance during endurance events. -European Journal of Applied Physiology

Understanding the Correlation of Exercise and Stress Relief


Understanding the Correlation of Exercise and Stress Relief

Today’s world can certainly be stressful at times. Perhaps the morning news is enough to cause you stress, or perhaps your finances or career. Regardless of the reasons, stress is something we could all do without. In addition to making our day more difficult, it can also cause health problems.

Thankfully, there are simple exercise and stress relief activities that anyone can do in their spare time or in addition to a regular workout. In fact, nearly any physical exercise can be sufficient for stress reduction because exercise causes our body to release endorphins, which help to elevate mood and subsequently relieve stress.

Exercise and Stress Relief Examples

To help relieve stress, you can practice some or all of the following exercises daily. You don’t need to engage in a long, arduous workout; even a short, brisk walk can be effective, depending on the level of stress you are feeling. To see what might work best for your schedule and situation, consider these options.

Aerobics

Aerobic exercises such as walking or jogging help to release endorphins and improve blood flow and circulation. Aerobics also elevate your heart rate and should result in a noticeable reduction of stress. Consult your physician if you have any heart conditions.

Strength Training

These types of exercises make a great addition to aerobic exercise. They improve your overall strength and increasing the strength of your joints, leading to less risk of injury during aerobics. Try curling light weights to start.

Isometric exercises are also an ideal way to get sufficient exercise while also maintaining your strength. Examples of isometric exercises include planks, wall sits, and leg lifts, which are designed to improve and maintain muscle and strength without actually stretching the muscle as with other types of exercises. Isometric exercises require little to no equipment and can be done almost anywhere at any time. There is a high correlation between isometric exercise and stress relief. 

Stretching and Yoga

Stretching helps to elevate blood flow and also stimulates receptors in the nervous system to reduce the amount of hormones that cause stress. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise and relaxation that not only reduces stress, but also improves muscle flexibility and mental well-being. Consult a yoga instructor for the best exercises to start with.

Remember, if you haven’t exercised in a while, start off slowly by working out in small increments until your body adjusts to being more physical on a regular basis. Shortly afterward, you will be able to increase the amount of time you work out and maybe expand your routine to include more exercises. Overall, you will hopefully experience the benefit of reduced stress and improved well-being.

 

Simple Isometric Exercises