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Boost Your Brain with Weightlifting

10 Reasons Weightlifting is Good for Your Brain

Did you know that you can boost your brain function with weightlifting? Everyone wants to have a lean and beautiful body and that’s what most clients ask me for when they sign up for training with me. What they don’t realize is that weightlifting not only changes their body, it also changes their brain. Several studies have investigated lifting weights for brain health and one Canadian study found that lifting weights twice a week helps to maintain brain health and possibly prevent diseases of the brain such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Another study, done at UCLA, found that physical activity increased brain volume, especially in those aged 75 and older, leading researchers to suggest that it is never too late get involved in physical activity.

Here are 10 reasons why you need to start lifting weights today.

1. Weightlifting Releases Endorphins

You probably already knew that, but did you know that endorphins, otherwise known as “feel good” chemicals stimulate the pleasure part of your brain and elevate your mood.

2. Weightlifting Decreases and Possibly Prevents Depression

If you are feeling the blues, get in the gym and start lifting. Resistance training relieves and even prevents mental health issues.

3. Weightlifting Boosts Memory

The repetition involved in weight training has surprising effects like improving your memory. Studies show that weightlifting can improve both your short-term and long-term memory.

4. Weightlifting Reduces Anxiety

It is estimated that some 15% of people in the United States experience anxiety that lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 days a month. Studies show that people who incorporate resistance training experience better moods and less anxiety monthly.

5. Weightlifting Reduces Fatigue

Chronic fatigue is something that almost a quarter of Americans deal with in their everyday life. Weight training reduces the level of fatigue that the body experiences and makes for a better night’s sleep.

6. Weightlifting Improves Self-Esteem

Study after study show that weightlifting can improve your self-esteem both in the short term and the long run. This is partly due to the better physique that it brings but also due to the sense of accomplishment that weightlifting provides.

7. Weightlifting Boosts Your IQ

That’s right! If you want to be as smart as possible, consider weight training. Research shows that young adults who exercise experience an increase in intelligence scores compared to people who don’t.

8. Weightlifting Improves Learning and Memory

Studies show that people who get more exercise tend to be quicker learners and weightlifting exercise improves overall cognitive function. Researchers have gone on to study how long people are able to reap the improvements in learning and memory following exercise. Exercise improves memory mostly due to the fact that it increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) – a protein that plays a major role in memory formation and storage.

9. Weightlifting Increases Creativity

That’s something you probably didn’t expect. Studies show that weightlifting enhances creativity independently of mood. Creative thinking was tested by three measures of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT). The research demonstrated that mood and creativity improved independently of each other as a result of aerobic and resistance exercise. So, want to come up with the next billion dollar genius invention? Exercising may help.

10. Weightlifting Improves Attention

Do you struggle with attention? Many people are unable to remain calm and focused because of stress and anxiety. Other individuals aren’t getting the proper neurotransmitters that they need for optimal mental functioning. To increase your ability to pay attention, researchers suggest you start lifting and doing cardio to improve connections between the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is heavily involved in tasks involving attention, organization, and higher learning.

Benefits for All

The weightlifting brain benefit is seen in all ages. Over the years, I’ve worked with many seniors over 80. Sometimes it is hard to convince them that regular training can benefit them at their age. They often feel it is just too late.

I try to explain that It is even more important in the senior years to work out regularly without having big gaps between sessions. A younger individual can take a vacation for a couple of weeks and not see much of a decline. A senior will usually feel a marked difference and decline, often finding it difficult to bounce back.

Covid lockdowns were horrible for everyone’s health but was especially detrimental to the elderly. I know several elderly individuals that had Covid and recovered quickly: however, their brain and body never fully recovered from not exercising and going to the gym for two years.

If you’re not already a gym rat, I hope I convinced you to start weightlifting today. It’s not always just about the body.

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