Both cardio and weight training can be beneficial for mental health, but they may have different effects on the mind and body.
Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, cycling, or swimming, can be particularly effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Cardio can help promote the release of endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals in the brain. Additionally, cardio can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality, which can also benefit mental health.
Weight training, such as weightlifting or resistance band exercises, can be helpful for managing symptoms of depression and improving self-esteem. Strength training has been shown to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that promotes the growth and development of neurons, which can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. Additionally, strength training can promote a sense of accomplishment and mastery, which can boost self-esteem and confidence.
Ultimately, both cardio and weight training can be beneficial for mental health, and the best exercise for you may depend on your individual preferences and fitness goals. A combination of both cardio and weight training can be particularly effective for improving overall physical and mental health. It’s important to choose an exercise routine that you enjoy and can stick to over the long term.