Toggle High
Contrast On
Categories
Body icon
Body
We celebrate all shapes and sizes because we see nothing but beauty.
View Topic
Life icon
Life
GR8NESS isn’t something you do; it’s how you live.
View Topic
Mind icon
Mind
Infuse mindfulness and awareness into everything you do.
View Topic
Self Care icon
Self Care
Refresh, renew, and reconnect with your inner self to nurture your wellbeing.
View Topic
Soul icon
Soul
Connect with all of humanity and discover your true self.
View Topic
Body
We celebrate all shapes and sizes because we see nothing but beauty.
View More
Categories
A life in motion is a life well lived. Move. Discover. Grow.
View Topic
True health lies in finding the perfect balance of mind, body, and spirit.
View Topic
Chronic pain can be debilitating. Regain control of your body and mind.
View Topic
Remedies sourced from nature help heal pains, both seen and unseen.
View Topic
Feed your body properly and you’ll nurture more than just the physical.
View Topic
Life
GR8NESS isn’t something you do; it’s how you live.
View More
Categories
Ease the way you move through life with simplicity and intelligence.
View Topic
Strengthening your relationships helps you celebrate who you’ve become.
View Topic
Raising children is the job of a lifetime. And you never get to retire.
View Topic
Our planet is a marvelous gift. Become the change the world needs by helping it heal.
View Topic
They’re an extended part of your family. Care for them the way they deserve.
View Topic
Mind
Infuse mindfulness and awareness into everything you do.
View More
Categories
While you cannot escape the stresses of life, you can find shelter inside yourself.
View Topic
Calming anxiety, easing depression, and discovering peace of mind are within your grasp.
View Topic
Everyday tools, training, and techniques to convince your brain it can be so much more.
View Topic
From mantras for self-love to changing the way you look at wellness.
View Topic
category alt tag
Self Care
Refresh, renew, and reconnect with your inner self to nurture your wellbeing.
View More
Categories
The journey of self-discovery is never-ending. Embrace your journey.
View Topic
Feeling good about your outside impacts how you feel about your inside. Feel beautiful both ways.
View Topic
Soul
Connect with all of humanity and discover your true self.
View More
Categories
Dive into your practice and experience something new every day. Give your mind some space to grow.
View Topic
Feed your mind with powerful positive statements to help you believe in yourself.
View Topic
In a fast-paced world, sometimes the best thing you can do is to breathe.
View Topic
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Jacob Lund / Shutterstock
218 Views
5 Min Read Time
3 Shares

Is Strength Training the Key to a Healthy Brain?

GR8NESS RATING
1
gr8 vote
GR8
0
meh vote
MEH
1
pass vote
PASS

I think we can all agree that having a healthy brain is an integral part of making the most out of your life. Everything you do involves your brain, for better or worse. Truly, it is just that—better or worse, depending on how your brain is doing. A healthy brain functions properly from a cognitive standpoint, as well as in the scope of mental health.

Why Consider Brain Health

Two sides of the same coin, cognitive function, and status of mental health relate to one another. In the arena of wellness, brain health doesn’t always take the front burner, despite its importance. It’s not that people don’t tend to think the health of their brains is important.

Instead, it comes down to the reality that life is messy. We’re constantly bombarded by information to process. Making the time and extra effort to care for your brain health is not always an obvious thing to scratch off the to-do list. Unless, of course, you’re someone who struggles with focus, lack of clarity, or mental health.

Typically, we’re not called on to put in the extra effort until we realize that there is a problem. This is true for many aspects of health because the tendency is that our bodies do so much automatically.

Once we’re aware of an issue, we take time to understand it. We go to the doctor or take to google for some quick advice. We might even start surveying those around us for their opinions, or other information they may have.

Some people care tremendously about preventative care, but I’d gamble to say—it’s still not enough of us. Preventative healthcare is all about doing what you can when can before you have to, because by then, you may not be able to, and it may be too late.

Benefits of Taking the Time to Care for Your Brain

While no diagnosis is needed to take extra consideration in caring for your brain, there are certainly incentives to doing so.

Factually, there is a myriad of side-effects that could be associated with an unhealthy brain. Just as well, a decline in brain health can lead to more complications than are identified as research continues to expand. That said, maintaining brain health promotes the following positive contributions:

  • Protect memory
  • Limit risk for diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Disable impulsivity and poor judgment
  • Increase attention span
  • Limit risk for mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, or mood disorders
  • Promote healthy weight and avoid obesity
  • Stabilize energy levels
  • Higher productivity
  • Refine problem-solving abilities

Where Strength Training Comes In

What does putting in the effort for a healthy brain look like? There are the obvious clues like reading a book or working out a crossword puzzle. Brain training has also made quite a buzz, but its efficacy in genuinely helping the brain is still to be determined. Among the range of things that may make a significant difference for the brain is strength training.

Defining Strength Training

Strength training is done by performing physical exercises that are designed and leveraged to improve endurance and strength. While often associated with lifting weights, there are various ways to strength train. Strength training is an obvious plus for getting physically fit, but do we tend to think of it as a tool for mental health and cognitive function?

Here is why we should.

Strength Training for the Brain

Strength training, particularly resistance training, has shown to be beneficial for the functioning of the brain. One study concluded that weight training might induce the production of neurons and increase brain plasticity. Brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity, is critical for the brain’s ability to evolve with experience. In other words, it’s a calibration system that helps the brain to understand how it can best serve the body based on the data it has processed.

Another study in the examination of older women proved that strength and resistance training improved cognitive function overall. What’s interesting with this study is that regular resistance training without the help of medication was able to produce long-term benefits for cognitive function far after the study ended. This information supports the idea that strength training can prevent cognitive decline among individuals, but especially elderly who are more susceptible.

In terms of mental and emotional help, strength training enables the release of positive-feeling neurotransmitters. These can regulate cells in the brain that may contribute to the onset of mental illness, and possibly improve symptoms for those who struggle with it. Additionally, it can enable behaviors like getting better sleep and increase hydration, which is useful for mental health as well.

Ways to Incorporate Strength Training

If strength training doesn’t sound up your alley, consider the fact that there are many ways to do it, and that you may have already tried it without knowing. Here are some ways to incorporate strength training into your routine.

Remember that becoming acclimated to strength training may take time and discipline, but it’s worth it for your body and mind.

Weight lifting: Using free weights or machines to perform exercises that use weights as resistance to train the body.

Plyometrics: Workouts that involve explosive, maximum strength power movements. (Not GR8 if you’ve got knee problems.) Ex: Box jumps, jump rope, jump squats.

Isometrics: Isolated movements that focus on training muscles through a contraction without moving the joints. (GR8 if you have knee problems.) Ex: Wall sits, planks, tricep dips.

Calisthenics: Involves working for various muscle groups at once in a rhythmic sense, with bodyweight. Ex: Push-ups, pull-ups, lunges.

Resistance training: Using bodyweight or other lightly weighted objects to gain strength and endurance by resisting. Ex: Medicine balls, resistance bands, body squats.

Core strengthening: Isolating the core as a means of providing the rest of the body with adequate support.

Circuit training: Performing any of the following types of strength training in circuit form.

There is great potential for strength training to be a valuable tool for ensuring optimal brain health. Keep in mind that proper form is essential for avoiding injury. Adequate nutrition is necessary for supporting the body as it repairs itself from training. If you’d like to try strength training, don’t hesitate to clear it with your doctor first.

 

GR8NESS RATING
1
gr8 vote
GR8
0
meh vote
MEH
1
pass vote
PASS
Amanda
GR8NESS Writer
Amanda is a GR8NESS contributing writer who lives in celebration of self care, and endeavors to approach all things with a student mentality. Her love for the study of self-development is rooted in fitness, holistic wellness, and skin care. She is an advocate for mental health; and hopes to connect others to their own way of daring to care.
Learn More
Related Articles
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by JESHOOTS.COM / Unsplash

7 Practical Uses for Math You Thought Were Irrelevant

Sometimes we take math for granted, once we’ve gotten out of school and don’t need to worry about finding out the value of X. But, there are many practical uses for math that we don’t even realize. Or even may have thought were irrelevant, until we need it. In truth,...
The URL has been copied