Lift Weights to Feel Good - The Pursuit of Happiness and Hypertrophy


uffering from the winter blues?

Learn how you can lift weights to feel good.

You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

Christmas is here. A time to eat, drink, and be merry. Yet unfortunately, it can also be a time where many of us sadly gain some unwanted pounds from too much yuletide partying.

But don't be too hard on yourself. Why? Because all that xmas turkey, the mince pies and egg nog, aren't entirely to blame.

Research shows how the dark nights and frosty temperatures are the true weight-gain culprits, and just like the mean-spirited Mr. Grinch, they deserve a space at the top of Santa's Naughty List.

Photo courtesy of mRio

Blue Christmas

So how can the onset of winter wreck all your fitness goals and make you a moody grinch? A survey conducted by Anglian Home Improvements found:

  • A not-so-jolly 77% of women and 64% of men say the reduction in daylight negatively impacts their eating habits.
  • 28% of women and 15% of men admit to comfort eating stodgy meals and high-carbohydrate snacks.
  • 37% of women and 28% of men claim the shorter days are more likely to keep them indoors.

Add these factors together and what happens? You find yourself suffering from the winter blues.

The Pursuit of Happiness

Yet this reaction is completely natural. Dr. Rob Hicks is a medical journalist and GP, and says most people feel down from time to time during winter. Indeed, it is commonplace for many to suffer with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a kind of depression believed to be triggered by a lack of daylight.

Dr. Hicks goes onto explain:

    "This lack of daylight is believed to disturb the balance of chemicals in the brain and to upset the body's internal clock. The result is too much melatonin - the hormone that makes us feel tired and ready for sleep, and not enough serotonin, the hormone that helps us feel happy. Spending as much time as possible exposed to daylight can help lift our mood. This can be achieved by being outdoors, or when indoors being close to a window."

Lift Weights to Feel Good

But what about exercise - and in particular - strength training? Can lifting weights help stimulate these "feel good" hormones?

Yes. It can.

In fact, anaerobic exercise is a natural stimulator of many important mood hormones, including serotonin.

So weight training doesn't only help you look good, but it makes you feel good too. Another great reason why you should begin building muscle today!

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