Isabelle Reuter: Strength training — the key to a stronger, happier you

Published 6:35 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Strength training has been gaining popularity in recent years, and for good reason. A study has found that strength training not only improves physical health but also has a positive impact on mental health. Who knew that lifting heavy things and putting them down could make you happier?

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, surveyed over 1,000 participants who engaged in strength training for at least 30 minutes per week. The participants were asked about their physical and mental health before and after starting a strength training program.

The results showed strength training significantly impacted both physical and mental health. Participants reported improvements in muscle strength, bone density, and flexibility. They also experienced a decrease in body fat percentage and an increase in muscle mass. This is great news for anyone looking to get in better shape or improve their overall health.

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But the most surprising finding was the impact on mental health. Participants reported feeling less stressed, more confident, and happier overall. The researchers believe that the release of endorphins during exercise may be responsible for this positive effect on mental health. Endorphins are natural chemicals produced in the brain and known to reduce pain and increase happiness.

Strength training has long been touted to improve physical health and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. But this study shows that it has even more benefits than previously thought. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving!

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends strength training at least two days per week, with exercises that target all major muscle groups. This can include weightlifting, resistance band exercises, and bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and squats. There are so many different exercises that everyone can find something they like.

So, whether you’re looking to improve your physical health or boost your mood, strength training is a great place to start. With a variety of exercises to choose from, there’s something for everyone. And the benefits are clear — stronger muscles, healthier bones, and a happier mind. Who wouldn’t want that? So, let’s get lifting and start feeling the gains — physically and mentally!

The YMCA now offers personal training to community members. If you are looking into strength training but don’t know where to start, look at our website or come on in to get more information. We are invested in helping everyone with their fitness journey!