- Posted by
- Matt Cook
- Aug 24, 2017 9:00:00 AM
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health when it comes to competing in triathlon races. Too often we talk about the physical gains we make, and neglect to discuss how exercising can also have positive psychological effects. If you’re looking to improve not only your body, but your mind as well, triathlon training is a great option for you.
Discover how you can benefit from these five positive psychological effects of triathlon training and competing.
1. Reduced Stress
Life can be stressful, and some people use this as an excuse to avoid working out. While you might think that adding training for triathlon races will increase your stress, especially if it’s your first race, it’s actually been proven to have the opposite effect.
The physical and mental effects of stress on your body can be taxing. By exercising at least once every week, you’re able to break the cycle that can be causing you physical and emotional stress. The endorphins that your body releases into your brain while exercising help to relax your muscles and relieve the built-up tension in your body.
2. Increased Energy
When even the simplest tasks seem to take every last bit of energy you have left, you need to shake up your routine in some way—but how? Triathlon training can help increase your energy by strengthening your circulation, curing your exhaustion. Exercise creates more blood flow to your brain and more available energy for your body to consume.
Think back to your last workout—did you feel more exhausted at the end in comparison to when you first started? You probably felt completely rejuvenated afterwards—this is because of the increased amount of energy for your body to use. While you’d think that you’d be tired after a workout, you should leave feeling energized and refreshed.
3. Improved Self-Esteem
Your self-esteem has a direct correlation with how frequently you exercise. Marika Tiggermann and Samantha Williamson conducted a study entitled The Effect of Exercise on Body Satisfaction and Self-Esteem as a Function of Gender and Age that proved that people who exercise are more likely to have higher perceptions of themselves than those who do not.
The consequences of low self-esteem can negatively affect your work and your home life. By exercising, you’re not only improving your mental and physical health, but helping yourself love your body a little bit more every day. Feeling happy and healthy is one of the best and most important benefits of training for triathlon races.
4. Helps Battle Depression
If you are currently or have previously experienced mental health problems, you are not alone. 20 percent of Canadians will struggle with mental health at some point in their lives. Focusing your efforts on training for triathlon races can provide a much-needed distraction that can get you out of your own head. You’ll be able to break the cycle of negative thoughts, since exercise promotes many healthy changes in your brain’s chemistry.
Your brain is an amazing organ. Simply by exercising, the endorphins it releases can drastically lift your spirits and make you feel good. Reduced inflammation and neural growth also helps to promote a calm and positive mentality, which is essential for individuals dealing with depression.
5. Sense of Accomplishment
When you achieve something great, you feel amazing. Triathlon races can help you feel like you’ve truly achieved something spectacular through all your hard work and training. You have a direct product that you can reflect on, and feel accomplished that your months of training led you closer to your goals. Setting triathlon training goals and crushing them is a great way to lift your spirits and truly feel like your triathlon journey is impacting your life for the better.