As summer’s intoxicating warmth makes way for the brisk winds and shorter days of autumn, many of us find ourselves succumbing to the seasonal blues, otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). But fear not, as there is a lesser-known weapon in our arsenal that can help combat these autumnal doldrums – strength training.

Shedding light on the connection between strength training and the alleviation of SAD symptoms, PT and wellness coach Rachael Sacerdoti offers her expertise and guidance on how to get the most from your training as the seasons change.

Stressing that strength training offers numerous benefits to both physical and mental health, Rachael comments that “while we often associate strength training with building muscles and sculpting our bodies, its impact on mental health is too often overlooked.”

Indeed, one of the main causes of SAD is the decrease in natural sunlight exposure during autumn, leading to depleted vitamin D levels. Strength training helps counteract this by stimulating the production of endorphins and serotonin, key neurotransmitters responsible for boosting mood and combating depression.

When we engage in resistance exercises, our bodies release endorphins, commonly known as ‘feel-good’ hormones,” explains Rachael. “These hormones create a sense of euphoria and act as natural painkillers, helping to combat the lethargy and depressive symptoms associated with SAD.”

Furthermore, strength training promotes the release of serotonin, a vital neurotransmitter that stabilises our mood, enhances cognitive function, and improves sleep quality – all of which can be negatively impacted by SAD.

To make the most of your strength training routine this autumn, Rachael shares her favourite weighted workout ( along with the insightful tips below:

  1. Compound the benefits: Incorporate exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. These compound movements not only provide an effective full-body workout but also trigger the release of a larger quantity of mood-enhancing endorphins.
  1. Progress beats perfection: Establishing realistic and attainable goals for your strength training journey will help boost your motivation and provide you with a sense of accomplishment. This can be as simple as gradually increasing the weights you lift or aiming for a certain number of repetitions.
  1. Mix it up!: To prevent monotony and sustain long-term commitment, mix up your strength training routine with different exercises, equipment, or workout styles. Experimenting with new challenges not only keeps you engaged but also helps you avoid plateaus and maximizes the mental health benefits.
  1. Work, rest, and play: Don’t underestimate the importance of rest and recovery days. Sacerdoti stresses that “overtraining can lead to physical and mental burnout, which should be avoided at all costs.” Taking sufficient rest periods allows your body to repair and rebuild, ensuring you get the most out of your workouts.

With its powerful effects on mood, cognition, and overall mental well-being, strength training might just be the secret weapon you need to embrace the autumn season with a renewed sense of vitality and positivity.

Offering a wealth of exercise routines on her IG, along with delicious recipes and expert health and wellness tips, Rachael, and her company It’s So Simple is fast becoming the method of choice for those looking to make long-lasting lifestyle changes. For all enquiries see or IG

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *