Increasing the Strength of the Brain

April 7, 2017
By Bmargo BRONZE, Morristown, New Jersey
Bmargo BRONZE, Morristown, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

 Working out affects the body's muscular system, but many people don’t know that it also affects the brain. Stress and anxiety are helped when working out because of what a person's body releases. When a person is at the gym and seeing results they, in turn, feel happier and more self-confident. Because the gym is a social environment it is easy to make friends or even bring existing friends to work out with. From all the planning that goes into working out, it affects a person's life outside of the gym.

The average person is always under a substantial amount of stress, whether it is school or their job. One of the most common ways that people relieve stress is to eat, and most of the time it is junk food. Why not relieve stress a healthy way. A great benefit of working out is that “exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress” (Breene). In other words the more a person works out the more norepinephrine the body releases. The more the body works out the more stress that will be relieved. Another thing that working out can decrease is Anxiety.

Anxiety is when a person feels nervous, worried, or uneasy. It affects all people from ages 6 and up.  The number of people who have anxiety in the US is bigger that the average person would expect, “about 15% of people in the United States experiences anxiety that lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 days a month” (Ramirez, Kravitz). This means that approximately 5 million people in us suffer from Anxiety. If that's the case, then if even 1 in every 5 of those people workout, it could help 1 million people. This shows how big an impact working out can have on people. Here is the most effective way to relieve stress.


If someone who suffers from anxiety wants to relieve it, they don’t have to become body builders. A person will get the best help with anxiety if they do “resistance training at a low-to-moderate intensity (<70% 1 repetition maximum).” This “produces the most reliable and robust decreases in anxiety” (Strickland, Smith). This is saying that the workout does not have to be heavy. Light training is good enough to help the body mentally. When most people think of the gym, they think of bodybuilder lifting heavy weight. When in reality the average person does not need to work out like that for mental results and even physical results. Anxiety and stress are just two of the many problems that working out can help with.

Working out would be beneficial to someone who is dealing with depression.  Working out can treat depression a lot “in some cases exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression.” In addition “working out for 30 minutes a few times a week could instantly boost overall mood” (Lily), from the endorphins that get released into a human's body.  When people workout, their bodies release endorphins. These endorphins create feelings of happiness. Because of endorphins, doctors recommend to people that are dealing with depression to start exercising.  Just 30 minutes will get the endorphins flowing, and will boost a person's mood.

A person's self-esteem is based off how well they feel about themselves.Everybody wants to feel good and “physical fitness can boost self-esteem and positive self-image” (Lily). This is because when someone goes to the gym and runs on a treadmill, they feel like they have done hard work.It makes the person feel like they are working on achieving their dream body. This, in turn, boosts their self-esteem. The same is for weight training and other forms of fitness. People feel good during and after working out. It is important that a person’s self-esteem is not too low. This is because a low self-esteem can lead to depression. It is important that a person has a high self-esteem and feels confident about themselves and the gym is the way to do it.In addition, most people go to the gym to look better, and when they feel that they are looking slimmer or stronger depending on their goals, they feel good. When people go to the gym to look better, they don’t have to do it by themselves.

The gym is a pretty social place, whether it is asking people for a spot, or just working out with people to achieve their fitness goals. Many people enjoy to go to the gym by themselves, and get a good workout in but, “the only thing more fun than strength training is strength training with a friend or partner” (Hagendorf). This is because when a person trains with a partner, there is someone else that has the same fitness goals as them. This also makes it easier, because the two people can always check each other and make sure that they are going to the gym. The gym is also a great place to make new friends. Some activities in the gym could require someone to spot the person that is lifting the weight.  This could create opportunities to make new friends. There is a big group of individuals that workout regularly. This gives a person many different people that they can befriend. The longer a person goes to the gym the more people they will meet.  The gym is a social setting, and it is not too hard to make friends. Overall the gym is a very social place, there are friends waiting to be made all around.

An important part of going to the gym is the dedication that comes with it. If a person wants to improve their body and achieve their goals, they “need to push out every last repetition, train when you don't feel like it, and stick to an impeccable diet” (Samuels). When a person is dedicated in the gym, this dedication also transfers over to that person's personal life. This could help out in school, their job and other activities. One example of this goes hand in hand with working out but is very important. This important thing is diet. A person that is dedicated to a healthy diet, will most likely achieve faster and better results than someone who is not. Diet for most people is the hardest part of going to the gym, this is because the diet is a 24-hour ordeal. Compared to going to the gym for one to two hours, diet has to be followed all day. When a person follows their diet all day, they must have a lot of dedication. Another accessory of going to the gym is to get proper sleep.

It is very important that a person gets enough sleep. This is because when the human body workouts, it creates tiny micro tears in the muscles. When the body sleeps it repairs these micro tears. Therefore if a person wants their body to heal and get stronger, it would be very beneficial to get enough sleep. An important part of working out is sleep, and “it has been documented that those who train can sleep more deeply.” This is because “strength training allows for a better sleep pattern to develop” (Hagendorf). This shows that a person that works out will have a better chance of getting more sleep than someone who does not workout.This also plays into the dedication aspect. If a person wants to get results, they have to be dedicated enough to go to sleep at a reasonable time.

Working out affects the body’s mental aspect just as much as its physical. Stress can be relieved by going to the gym for just 30 minutes.  The same can be said for Anxiety. Going to the gym and working out can be just as effective as antidepressant pills, because of the endorphins the human body releases. A person's self-esteem can receive a major boost from just going to the gym and hopping on a treadmill. The more times a person goes to the gym the more friends they are going to get. The more a person pushes themselves in the gym, the more dedication they will have. This dedication will also rub off on other things that they do in life, for example, work or school. Lastly working out can also affect a person's sleep schedule.


Citation: Avnet, Lily. 13 Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost, 27 Mar. 2013. Web. 16 Feb. 2017.

Citation: Robinson, Lawrence, Jeanne Segal, and Melinda Smith. "The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise." The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise: The Exercise Prescription for Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and More. HelpGuide, Jan. 2017. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

Citation: Hagendorf, Allison. "The Psychological Benefits of Strength Training." ACE Fitness. ACE Fitness, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

Citation: My Protein. "The Benefits of Weight Lifting You Don't Often Hear About." Myprotein US - The Zone. MyproteinUS, 14 July 2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

Citation: "11 Reasons Weight Lifting Is Good for Mental Health." Anabolic. Anabolic, 05 Apr. 2016. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

Citation: Ramirez, Amenda, and Len Kravitz. "Resistance Training Improves Mental Health."Resistance Training Improves Mental Health. University of New Mexico, 31 Dec. 2010. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

Citation: Samuels, Mike. "Emotional Benefits of Weight Lifting." LIVESTRONG. Leaf Group, 06 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.
Citation: Strickland, Justin C., and Mark A. Smith. "The Anxiolytic Effects of Resistance Exercise."Frontiers in Psychology. Frontiers Media S.A., 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

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