The worlds best Anti-Depressant: Lifting Weights

All of us are aware that there are many benefits to weight training – it helps to fight cancer, reduces the risk of heart disease & diabetes, but what about its affect on our mental state? Research has proven time and again that weight lifting is about more than just improving your looks. It helps people experience a more restful night’s sleep, have more energy, slow down aging and ultimately, feel better. Over time and with consistent effort, this can lead to an overall elevated mood.

When you exercise and lift weights you:

  • Have an instant release of “feel good” hormones called endorphins. Exercise also floods the brain with dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that are typically diminished in depressed people.
  • You enjoy a feeling of accomplishment after you finish your workout.
  • You know if you can achieve getting through a gruelling leg training workout, you can achieve anything!
  • Your endurance level is increased, so you have more energy for life’s everyday challenges.
  • The food plan that usually goes with weight training is great for your brain and aids in the well being of your mental state. Protein sources like omega 3 rich fish and meats are “super brain” foods.

People suffering from depression often feel hopeless and have a decreased ability to cope with the symptoms of their depression leading to a negative self-image. I’m not suggesting that getting ripped will all of a sudden change your life (although I believe it significant helps boost self confidence) but if you struggle with depression, your best therapy may be to hit the gym and pump some iron.