RESISTANCE TRAINING MAY HELP PREVENT DEPRESSION
RESISTANCE TRAINING AND DEPRESSION – IS IT A CURE?
NEW STUDY: MENTAL HEALTH AND RESISTANCE TRAINING
There’s already a substantial amount of information surrounding exercise in general and mental health, and we are all well aware of the great physical benefits of exercise. Previously, there has been little-to-no information about the possible benefits of resistance training for depression and overall improved mental health.
A new journal study published by JAMA Psychiatry has found that resistance training, like weightlifting or strength training, could be an alternative or an additional complementary therapy for depressive symptoms. Unlike previous studies, the paper focussed on resistance rather than aerobic exercises like walking or jogging.
LIFT WEIGHTS: LIFT YOUR MOOD
33 clinical trials involving 1877 patients were used throughout the study to determine the results, which found that resistance exercise training was consistently associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms.
Using the gold standard for testing the effects of exercise and depression, the experiment was randomised with a control group, meaning that some people were assigned to exercise while others were not. Participants underwent testing for depression prior to and after the experiments, regardless if someone was formally depressed at the beginning of the study or not.
Across the board, there were improvements in classic depressive symptoms like low mood, a loss of interest in activities and feelings of worthlessness, regardless of an individual’s age, gender, health status, specific exercise routine or physical strength improvements.
The study also indicated that larger improvements were found amongst adults showing mild-to-moderate depression, compared to those without such scores. Brett Gordon, the first author of the paper, said that the findings suggest that resistance exercise training ‘may be particularly effective for those with greater depressive symptoms.’
THE FUTURE: RESISTANCE TRAINING AND DEPRESSION
Although the scientific factors behind how RET training combats depression are difficult to explain, other research suggests that by increasing blood flow to the brain, exercise can change the structure and function of the brain, which creates new brain cells and triggers the release of mood-enhancing chemicals, like endorphins.
Gordon doesn’t think resistance training is a cure for depression as such, but he says the findings are still compelling especially since it’s affordable, accessible, and easy to do at home.
So, there you have it, resistance training doesn’t just make you look good, it makes you feel good too.
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