Weightlifting has been a popular form of exercise for many years. While it has traditionally been associated with bodybuilding and strength training, recent studies have shown that lifting heavy weights can provide a variety of health benefits. In particular, the focus of this article will be on the effects of lifting heavy weights on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), myokines, and psychological health.
BDNF is a protein that is essential for the growth and survival of neurons in the brain. It is also known to be involved in the development of new synapses, which are important for learning and memory. Studies have shown that lifting heavy weights can increase the levels of BDNF in the brain (1). This increase in BDNF has been linked to improved cognitive function, including better memory and a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's (2).
Myokines are a type of cytokine that is produced by muscle cells in response to exercise. They are known to have a variety of effects on the body, including reducing inflammation and improving metabolic health. Recent studies have shown that lifting heavy weights can increase the production of myokines (3). This increase in myokines has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, and a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease (4).
In addition to the physical benefits of lifting heavy weights, there are also psychological benefits. Studies have shown that lifting heavy weights can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety (5). This may be due in part to the release of endorphins during exercise, which are known to have a positive effect on mood. In addition, the sense of accomplishment that comes from lifting heavy weights can improve self-esteem and confidence (6).
* Studies conducted by Dr. Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University, have shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can provide many of the benefits of traditional endurance training with much shorter workouts
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