We already know the huge benefits of Strength Training from getting your goal body to improving your health. But during a pandemic where we are spending a lot of idle time at home, where there is fear and uncertainty and suffering all around us, Strength Training offers other important benefits we might not be fully taking advantage of.
1. Release of pent up energy. Let’s face it. Turning on the local news drains us faster than we can drain the batteries of our phones playing Candy Crush. Ambivalent quarantine protocols and government ineptitude can turn our sympathetic nervous system, our involuntary response to danger, into overdrive. Our heart rates increase and we release cortisol and adrenaline constantly and at different times of the day, which increase the level of inflammation in our bodies. We all know that chronic inflammation is no good and can lead to more serious illness down the line. The solution? Set time for Strength Training. Strenuous physical exertion can provide the channel to release the pent up energy and help you settle, relax and clear your head after. Always remember to follow a well structured program because too much Strength Training can also be detrimental.
2. Getting a good night’s sleep. Spending too much time on your screen can wreck havoc on your body clock. Because of the blue light emitted by your device, your brain thinks it’s daytime even if 7 in the evening. Blue light, which is present in sunlight, suppresses the secretion of melatonin, the popular sleep hormone which is also a powerful antioxidant we get only during deep sleep. Studies show Strength Training helps you fall into deeper sleep earlier at night and as of melatonin production, it peaks at around 10pm to 3am. Avoid exercising too close to your bedtime, though because the cortisol won’t have much time to clear and sleeping in a physically stressed state can be difficult.
3. Decrease feelings of depression. Endorphin, the popular “feel good” neurotransmitter has one specific task–to mask pain and make it tolerable. Strength Training boosts the production of endorphin (that good feeling after a workout), making us more resilient to physical and emotional stress. Not only that, there are times that we kind of enjoy and look for pain knowing we can feel good when we overcome them. Interestingly, studies show that Endorphin is at least as powerful as antidepressants which can help fight depression. If the pandemic is getting to you, always remember that you can boost your sense of “I can” and take on a more positive demeanor through Strength Training.
These are just some of the many benefits of Strength Training and just like everything else, balance is the key. Each of our bodies are different and will require a different degree of exercise. Always consult with a qualified coach to reap the most benefits.
Stay safe and strong!