One would have thought it was the other way around – that weight lifting would be good for physical health and that sleep would be important for mental health. While this is true, the reverse is also true, shows recent research.
How weight lifting can help prevent memory loss
If you thought that weight lifting was only for muscle bound hunks, think again. Researchers at the University of British Columbia studied women between the ages of 70 and 80 with mild cognitive impairment. It was found that when the study subjects engaged in resistance training they performed better in tests relating to memory, attention and problem solving.
Exercises such as weight lifting, aerobics, balancing exercises and strength training and even moderate intensity walking are seen to have beneficial effects for the brain according to various different studies. While we know that exercise can help to reduce dementia risks these recent studies show that exercise can benefit even those who already have some amount of cognitive impairment.
So more evidence there, that exercise is good not only for the body but for the brain as well. And women who think that weight lifting will give them undesirable or bulky muscles don’t worry. It takes a lot of effort and even more importantly it takes male hormones to bulk up like that. When women work out with moderate weights several times a week, all they will get is sleek, toned muscles with some amount of definition.
How sleep affects weight loss efforts
We know that sleep is important for mental health since it helps reduce stress and that it is good for physical health because it gives the body time to heal and revitalize itself during the period of rest. We now also know that sleep can help with weight loss.
Inadequate sleep tends to mess up the hormonal balance in the body. Lack of sleep causes levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin to rise. On the other hand, levels of leptin, the hormone that signals satiety falls, with the result that we tend to feel hungrier and eat more when we’re inadequately rested.
There is also the simple fact that less sleep means we are awake for more hours in a day; and have those many more hours in which to eat. Inadequate sleep would also mean that we have less energy which in turn makes it less likely that we exercise. Research also tells us that those who have sleep disorders like sleep apnea are more likely to be obese.