Resistance Exercise Linked to Reduced Depression Symptoms

Exercise is good for more than just your physical health. It can bolster your mental health as well. A recent review of existing research looked at nearly two thousand adults who participated in other research studies. The review divided the participants into two groups; those who engaged in resistance training as a form of physical exercise, and those who were physically inactive.

Those adults who were active and engaged in regular exercise were found to suffer from less depression and symptoms of depression. Even adults who had not been formally diagnosed with depression, or who didn’t think they were depressed, benefited from the boost exercising gave them. And adults who were depressed benefited the most from the mood lift and easing of their symptoms as they exercised.

This study sought to confirm that resistance training would aid mental health outcomes. Previous studies looked at aerobic exercise programs, not on weight or strength training programs. The benefit holds, regardless of whether a patient is running or cycling, or trying to bulk up. That the person is exercising is the benefit to their mood.

As few as two workout sessions per week were enough to trigger the easing of depressive symptoms. And the mental benefits were independent of whether or not the exercise participant actually did build any measurable amount of muscle mass.

Key Points:

  • 1Exercise improves mood and is not dependent on whether your body is improving in strength or muscle mass.
  • 2Staying active is important to your overall health and wellbeing at any age.
  • 3Both resistance training and aerobic exercise are beneficial in fighting depression.

Resistance training was associated with a reduction in depression symptoms regardless of how often people exercised.

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