People who are serious about their health and fitness need to train consistently. Endurance training is an important part to any fitness regimen. This type of training brings forth a host of physiological benefits, including enhanced performance for athletes. Endurance training also strengthens the mind, and here are 8 ways it achieves that.
1. Boosts Mood
Exercise is vital for maintaining mental fitness. Aerobic exercises, which make up the majority of endurance training, have been shown to elevate and stabilize a person’s mood. So much so that a person will feel the positive effects of aerobic exercise after only five minutes of training. It follows then that a mind constantly in a good mood is healthy and strong.
2. Alleviates Stress
Physical activity is a proven stress buster, and endurance training is the ultimate form of exercise. This helps reduce the secretion of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, while stimulating the production of endorphins. Those who work out a lot are familiar with these chemicals as they are responsible for the so-called “runner’s high”. This “high” is the feeling of relaxation and optimism after a particularly intense training session. To maximize these feelings of relaxation and optimism, professional bodywork is ideal. People can get exactly that at our CORE Massage Program. Our practitioners have extensive knowledge that allows them to offer a truly therapeutic experience that will absolutely revitalize your mind and heal you physically.
3. Increases Confidence
A University of Florida study revealed that exercising increases one’s confidence, which is vital in a number of ways. For one, increased confidence gives people the self-belief to go about their daily tasks. It is also crucial in improving the strength of the mind, as high self-esteem is an effective barrier against stress and anxiety.
4. Develops Mental Fortitude
Yoga should be incorporated into all training because holding certain poses builds endurance. According to Radiance Yoga founder Scott Rodwin it also develops mental fortitude, and this will help anyone “overcome self-limiting thoughts and the fear of pain.” This is why athletes in basketball and soccer incorporate yoga into their training routines. LeBron James famously uses yoga to prepare his body for upcoming games.
In soccer, the English Premier League is also one of the most physically intense competitions in the world. Players must constantly move for 96 minutes—the average length of a typical Premier League match, according to a study by Coral. Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs used yoga to improve his endurance, and extended his career in top-flight soccer to the age of 40. The average soccer player in the Premier League retires in their early 30s. This endurance through mental fortitude is what separates the greats from the rest of the playing field.
5. Improves Health
The brain and the body are invariably connected, and it stands to reason that a strong, healthy body will also lead to a strong, healthy mind. Endurance training, of course, helps keep athletes in tiptop shape, and this elite level of fitness is certainly good for the mind, too. Specifically, endurance training helps reduce insulin resistance and inflammation, and stimulates the release of chemicals that affect not only the overall health of brain cells, but also the growth of new blood vessels in the brain. Our trainers are cognizant of these facts, and that is why CORE’s Personal Training includes functional integration. Simply, functional integration means “breaking the cycle,” which is crucial to bring about the desired results.
6. Sharpens Memory
Aerobic training stimulates the production of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, a protein long associated with promoting the health of nerve cells. The increased production of BDNF then improves memory, and this boost in recall ability is a sign of a strong mind. A sharp memory, for instance, is useful at work and will allow people to perform their tasks at a very high level. Speaking of work, people who don’t have to time to go to the gym can train in the comfort of their own home with one of CORE’s elite trainers via our CORE One Live service. Book a consultation today to learn more!
7. Changes the Brain
Exercise, according to a Harvard Health report, changes the brain “in ways that protect memory and thinking skills.” The report, citing a study by University of British Columbia researchers, states that regular aerobic exercise, which as mentioned makes up the majority of endurance training, increases the size of the hippocampus, which is the area in the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning. Interestingly, the same study showed that resistance training does not have the same effect on the hippocampus.
8. Promotes Sleep
Sleep is vital for health. Dartmouth researchers found that during sleep the brain flushes out harmful toxins. This underscores the importance of getting the recommended 8–10 hours of sleep. Consider, too, that chronic sleep deprivation can significantly impair important brain processes. Fortunately, one of the effects of endurance training, or simply exercising for that matter, is that it improves the quality of one’s sleep.
Endurance training is not easy and requires discipline. It is for this reason that it helps strengthen the mind and improves overall health.