Benefits of Weight Training In Treating Depression?

Benefits of Weight Training

Weight training offers multiple benefits. It does help to fight heart diseases, but can weight training help overcome depression too? Studies have found that exercise can have both physiological and psychological benefits. It has been observed that 10 weeks of weight training reduces clinical depression symptoms more effectively than counselling. This is specifically important for women, as they are more than twice as likely to experience depression, but only 1 out of 3 females actually seek care.

Benefits of Weight Training In Treating Depression?

While the majority of fitness research efforts concentrate on the physical and health benefits of weight training, there is a large amount of work, which demonstrates that weight training also promotes wellness and mental health. For instance, weight training not only helps one get fit and look good, but also renders many other mental and emotional benefits. People suffering from depression may not like being active, but if they weight train for at least 45 minutes on 3 or 4 times a week, they can get greatly benefit in many ways. Weight training exercise can help to boost the mood and relieve stress and depression. Researchers studied a group of people suffering from depression for 4 months. They found that about 60% of the participants, who weight trained for 40 minutes, 4 times a week, overcame their depression without having any antidepressant medication. This same percentage rate was observed in people who only used medication to treat their depression.

Why Do People Feel Good After Lifting Weights?

One reason for the feeling of well-being, which is generated during and post weight training session or any other exercise is the body’s natural release of endorphins. Endorphins are the “feel good” hormones and also the body’s natural pain killers, which are released by the brain when one lifts weights. Endorphins help to combat stress and negativity, and boost the feeling of happiness. People who exercise enjoy a feeling of accomplishment after finishing their workout. When a person can manage getting through a gruelling hard core weight training workout, they feel they can achieve anything. Their endurance level also increases and so the person has more energy to tackle life’s challenges that come and hence are better able to beat depression with weight training. They feel proud about themselves by sticking to a workout program. Yoga and deep breathing exercises can further be practiced along with weight training to help improve focus and relieve anxiety to help a person with depression feel better. Poor sleep and low energy are common symptoms of depression. Weight training helps to improve sleep patterns and increase the energy levels, and thereby effectively help to ward off depression.

Is Weight Training Only for Depressed People?

One does not need to be suffering from a diagnosed mental illness to get substantial mental health benefits from bodybuilding and weight training. A study showed that short workouts of 7 minutes duration can help decrease sadness, anger and tension along with improving resistance to disease in healthy people too. Many people work out to boost confidence, reduce stress and anxiety, all of which contribute to psychological health and well-being. Hence, weight training can be used as a preventative or wellness activity for keeping physical and emotional conditions at bay. Even short bursts of activity can help people feel better. This means that a person does not need to spend hours at the gym to boost their health. Only a little amount of weight training can go a long way in improving a person’s mental and physical health.

What Should Patients Suffering from Depression Eat When They Are Weight Training?

Depression can influence appetite. While depressed people may not feel like eating at all, some may overeat. People whose eating pattern has got affected by depression need to be extra mindful of getting proper nourishment. Right nutrition can influence a person’s energy and mood. So, plenty of fruits and vegetables should be included in the regular diet. A high protein diet which usually goes with weight training helps to enhance the brain health. Protein packed “super-brainy” foods like red meats, lean fish, and chicken should be added to the diet.

Conclusion

Weight training not only helps to build a lean body, strong muscles and a healthy heart, but also improves the emotional and mental health. Weight training is a lethal weapon for fighting and winning the war against depression for good. When suffering from serious depression or feeling low at times, engaging in weight training can provide solace and happiness. So, when not feeling good or happy, one should weight train for boosting their mental health and mood instantly. However, along with weight training, a depression patient should also consult a doctor or therapist for managing their condition, better.

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