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Outline: Influence of Strengthening Exercises on Cognition and Mental Health


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Influence of Strengthening Exercises on Cognition and Mental Health

I. Introduction

A. Cognition refers to the process through which people gain understanding and knowledge through the use of senses, thoughts, and experience (Anderson-Hanley et al., 2010). It usually includes processes such as the formation of knowledge, attention, reasoning, judging, and reasoning, problem-solving, as well as decision making.

B. According to the World Health Organization, Mental health is the state of well-being in which one can realize his/her ability, can cope with the existing stress of life, remain productive and fruitful and still contribute to the goodness of the community (Wray et al., 2012).

C. It can also be referred to a state of emotional welfare in which one has achieved a pleasing integration of one’s intuitive drives acceptable to both the individual and the society. One is able to maintain a balance of work, love, and leisure in their lives.

D. Strengthening exercises include activities such as aerobics and other flexible exercises. Usually, they involve the use of resistant methods like free weights, resistant bands, and weight machines to build muscles and strength.

E. Researchers associate the involvement in the vigorous exercises including walking and running as an alternative way of dealing with cognitive and mental disorders.

II. Characteristics and benefits of Strengthening Exercise

a) Use of free weights and machines for both the multiple and single joint exercises.

b) Multiple activities include the bench, leg, shoulder press, as well as squats.

c) Single exercise is the leg extension, calf raise, and arm curl.

d) Results in muscular strength and power, improved physical functioning ability, and bone density. They are also said to reduce the risks of diabetes and heart diseases through the improvement of the glycemic control and insulin resistance (Cissik & Dawes, 2015).

III. Types of Mental Disorder

a) Most common is disorders include anxiety, depression, and chronic pains.

b) Cognition issues include loss of memory and slow to understand.

c) Fatigue and insomnia slow down one’s engagement in activities.

IV. Effects of Strengthening Exercises on Different Types of Disorder

i. Anxiety

a) Anxiety involves the feeling of uncertainty that something unpleasant might happen. Symptoms include poor sleeping patterns, mental suffering, poor health, pain, and even reduced activities.

b) Researchers argue that aerobic exercises are associated with the reduction of the condition among both healthy and the adults with chronic illnesses.

c) Strickland & Smith (2014) state that exercise is said to stimulate the production of the endorphins, a brain chemical that stimulates sleep thus reducing stress. There is stimulation of the anti-anxiety effects that stabilize the moods of an individual.

ii. Chronic Pain

a. Prolonged pain including a headache, low back pain, and osteoarthritis are considered the major problem in the public health.

b. Engaging in the fitness activities enhance the health of the back by allowing the exchange of fluids between the discs (Ishak et al., 2016). Thus the transfer of nutrients.

c. The fluid ensures that there is no swelling in other soft tissues around the discs. The activities also help the connective fibers of ligaments and tendons flexible.

d. Back pain is associated with swelling and the malnourishment together with the degeneration of the discs. Frequent movement prevents the tearing of the fiber under pressure thus preventing the pain of injury (Dreisinger, 2014).

e. Healing headache is associated with the natural painkiller released by the brain; endorphins.

iii. Cognition

a) Vigorous exercises are known to improve the brainpower thus enhancing the ability to think, retain, memory, and understanding (Neisser, 2014). They are associated with the increase in the supply of oxygen through the abundant blood vessels.

b) With the slightest activities, there is a good circulation of blood and nutrients that maintain the health of the blood vessels.

c) The study shows that a high rate enhances neurogenesis which is the ability to generate new brain cells, especially in adults.

iv. Depression

a. The release of endorphin enhances the development of the feeling of happiness and well-being in people (de Camargo Smolarek et al., 2016). Thus, one is able to move from the negative thoughts that feed depression and instead become positive.

b. One becomes triggered to generate well thought and insightful ideas. Exercises such as running on a treadmill or walking enable one to structure their day thus engaging in productive activities. Being engaged hinders the chances of being thoughtful.

v. Fatigue and Sleep

a) Aerobics increases the efficiency of the lungs which lets the air in and out of the body. More energy is released with the increase in oxygen in the blood (Ament & Verkerke, 2009). Enhanced blood circulation allows the spread of oxygen in the tissues.

b) Resistant exercises promote the building of muscles and masses thus reducing blood sugar by storing it in the form of glycogen (Contreras, 2013). As muscles continue building, more blood sugar burns and hence maintaining the right healthy weight.

c) Flexibility activities like Yoga focus on the stress relieving through stretching and breathing. The practice helps in maintaining stamina through the restoration of the energy, relieve stress as well as fatigue.

d) A sense of peace that allows one to rest through sleep is gaining. Energy is generated that reduce the feeling of tiresomeness.

e) Engaging in exercises promotes the increase in body temperature and later the drop in the post-exercise temperature that results in a sleep (Kline, 2014).

f) Sleep relieves depression, stress, and insomnia.

vi. Self-Esteem

a) Exercises improve the well-being of an individual.

b) O’Connor et al. (2010) argue that activities enhances mental outlook and minimize stress thus a better insight into one ‘self.

c) There is a sudden need for appreciation and self-worth among people. Individuals start feeling happy about themselves and what they do.

d) Better body size with improved mood.

V. Conclusion

a) Besides the medical and therapy treatments, strengthening exercises are a natural way of dealing with mental and cognitive disorders.

b) Most diseases are promoted by lack of body flexibility. Disorders like depression and anxiety just require distraction which is provided through exercise.

c) When people engage in constructive activities, they are likely to remain in a good and happy mood.

d) The secretion of the endorphin enhances the elimination of all disorders that caused by lack of happiness in life.

e) The greatest number of people suffering from the mental illnesses are inactive thus engaging in thoughtful activities.

f) Patients should seek the advice of the physicians before engaging in exercises, particularly those that involve the low back pain to avoid further complications.

VI. Recommendations

a) Health cares should find a way to educate people on the importance of engaging in strengthening exercises even before the development of the complications.

b) Exercising should be included in the therapy and medication program to enhance healing among the patients.


Ament, W., & Verkerke, G. J. (2009). Exercise and fatigue. Sports medicine, 39(5), 389-422.

Anderson-Hanley, C., Nimon, J. P., & Westen, S. C. (2010). Cognitive health benefits of strengthening exercise for community-dwelling older adults. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology32(9), 996-1001.

Cissik, J., & Dawes, J. (2015). Maximum Interval Training. Human Kinetics.

Contreras, B. (2013). Bodyweight strength training anatomy. Human Kinetics.

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Dreisinger, T. E. (2014). Exercise in the management of chronic back pain. The Ochsner Journal14(1), 101-107.

Ishak, N. A., Zahari, Z., & Justine, M. (2016). The Effectiveness of strengthening exercises for the elderly with low back pain to improve symptoms and functions: A systematic review. Scientifica2016.

Kline, C. E. (2014). The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement. American journal of lifestyle medicine8(6), 375-379.

Neisser, U. (2014). Cognitive psychology: Classic edition. Psychology Press.

O’Connor, P. J., Herring, M. P., & Caravalho, A. (2010). Mental health benefits of strength training in adults. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine4(5), 377-396.

Strickland, J. C., & Smith, M. A. (2014). The anxiolytic effects of resistance exercise. Frontiers in psychology5, 753.

Wray, L. O., Mavandadi, S., Klaus, J. R., Tew Jr, J. D., Oslin, D. W., & Sweet, R. A. (2012). The association between mental health and cognitive screening scores in older veterans. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry20(3), 215-227.

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