Protect your Mental Health with Strength Training
Let’s face it, when you’re feeling exhausted or overwhelmed, it’s easy to want to skip your workout. But during these moments, exercize can be exactly what you need to feel energized and rejuvenated.
When you go to the gym to do your full body workout, your muscles get stronger with every push and pull. What you may not realize is that your mental health is toughening up, too. Studies show that people who exercize regularly—and engage in an exercize routine that includes strength training—have better mental health and lower rates of mental illness than those who do not work out.
In the past, studies have looked at the effects of aerobic exercize on mental health. More recently, scientists have started to look at the emotional benefits of strength training, too.
A recent study done at Penn State University found that strength training significantly reduced symptoms of depression. 1 That’s why choosing a workout that includes strength training for women is so important for overall mental and physical health.
The Link Between Exercize & Mental Health
The psychological benefits of exercize are both short and long-term. In the short-term, an energizing full body workout is one of the best things you can do to pull yourself out of an emotional slump. You will feel a sense of accomplishment as soon as you get done with your workout. And the mental benefits of exercize are long lasting, helping you feel stronger and more confident for the rest of the day.
Here are some specific benefits of exercize on mental health:
More get up and go
You might think engaging in a full body workout for women would leave you feeling tired, but exercize gives you an energy boost. There are a few reasons why. For one, when you work out, your cells produce more mitochondria. Because they help your body create fuel, more mitochondria equal a bigger energy supply. Exercize also increases oxygen in your body, as well as levels of hormones that help you feel energized. 2
It’s hard to function at your best with less than a good night’s sleep; improved sleep is another mental benefit of exercize. According to the National Sleep Foundation, moderate to vigorous exercize increases sleep quality by reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep as well as lowering the chances you will lie awake in the middle of the night. Engaging in a regular exercize routine can also prevent sleepiness during the day and reduce need for sleep meds at night. Indirectly, exercize helps maintain a healthy weight, which prevents sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. 3
When you sweat it out in the Curves Circuit, your body also pumps out hormones called endorphins, which reduce pain and make you feel good mentally, too. These same hormones cause the so-called “runner’s high,” but you can get the same effect doing a workout for women like the full body workout at Curves. 4
Sharpens your focus
Research shows that strength training can help protect areas of the brain that are vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. In one Australian study, researchers found that six months of strength training helped protect those areas up to one year later. 5
Keep in mind that exercize shouldn’t be stressful, and you don’t have to engage in long workouts to be strong and active. Because the Curves Circuit is only 30 minutes, it’s easy to fit a full body workout into your busy day. At Curves, you can start slowly with low impact and build strength at your own pace. And on the days that your schedule doesn’t allow you to get to the gym for your full body workout, MyCurves On Demand is available so that you can complete your workout whenever and where ever you need!
Curves is the perfect exercize for mental health. It’s a 30-minute workout suitable for all fitness levels, incorporates strength training for women, and it’s so easy to fit into your lifestyle and level of fitness. Plus, you’ll get an instant social network in the form of a supportive community of women to cheer you on, which is good for emotional wellbeing, too. And your Curves Coach will motivate and guide you through your workout and help you set goals for your fitness journey as you get stronger.
Exercise has so many physical and mental benefits, and it is essential that you stay active and engage in strength training to protect your mental health. No matter what your age, fitness level, or state of mind, there is no better time than now to join Curves and begin your fitness journey! Find your local club here!
- Association of Efficacy of Resistance Exercise Training With Depressive Symptoms: Meta-analysis and Meta-regression Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Does exercise really boost energy levels? – Harvard Health
- How Can Exercise Affect Sleep? | Sleep Foundation
- Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress – Mayo Clinic