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How Resistance Training Boosts Mental Health

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Mental wellness is trending for valid reasons. The pandemic has fueled its popularity because stress and anxiety are rampant in the new normal. Financial stress, social isolation, and a general fear of the virus are hard to handle. Thankfully, you can manage stress and move closer to mental well-being with a few actionable steps. Exercising regularly is one such measure as it promotes the release of endorphins in the brain. Essentially, these feel-good hormones induce relaxation and promote a sense of calm. Exercises like running, swimming, and aerobics are regarded as the ideal ones for stress relief. But you will be surprised to know the therapeutic benefits of resistance training. Here are some ways resistance exercises boost mental health. 

Enhances cognitive functioning

While exercising gives you an instant mood boost anytime, resistance training takes things to the next level. Working out with resistance bands makes you focus more during the extension and contraction of your muscles. Focusing hard enhances your cognitive functioning as you work out your brain and body at the same time. You tend to concentrate on the task at hand and forget everything else. Your financial struggles, relationship woes, and work stress take a backseat, and you feel relaxed in the moment. There couldn’t be a better way to feel grounded when you exercise.

Improves self-esteem

Resistance training is like challenging your body to get out of its comfort zone and overcome its boundaries. It also increases your muscle mass, builds your bones, and tones your body. You end up looking good and feeling more confident about your body. Grab up your press-up bands and knock out a few sets of stretches, push-ups, and squats every morning to get your self-esteem soaring. You can constantly aspire for more when you achieve a goal with your workout. Overcoming new challenges makes you confident and aware of your strengths and capabilities. Higher levels of self-esteem and confidence go a long way in boosting your mental health in the long run. 

Makes you more consistent 

Training for hours on end and not getting visible results can be depressing. You feel like giving up sooner rather than later if things do not seem to go as expected with your workout schedule in the gym. You can opt for training at home with resistance bands and be more consistent with your fitness plan. A few bands and minimal equipment are enough to be regular with your efforts and get tangible results. You can even use them outdoors and get an optimal dose of vitamin D, a nutrient vital for cognitive health. Consistency is another reason to pick resistance training for better mental health. 

Higher-intensity total-body resistance training is great for burning calories. At the same time, it delivers immense mental health benefits. Resistance bands give you the right start, and you can blend them with gym workouts and cardio training for excellent results. Both forms of exercise deserve a place within your fitness plan, so you must pick them to create a holistic one that covers your body and brain.

If you’re new to resistance training, it would be a wise idea to see a certified personal trainer and have them prescribe you a program. Ideally, see a personal trainer who has completed some form of continuing education course on resistance training. 

Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health and well-being. 

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