A new study published in the journal Jama Psychiatry found that resistance exercise training (RET) can reduce depression symptoms.
Weightlifting and strength-training are two key activities linked to improving a person’s mental well being, while keeping their body physically healthy, too.
Depression symptoms can include ongoing sad or empty mood, oversleeping, decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.
Brett Gordon, the paper’s author, notes that this isn’t a cure for depression, but does provide some hope and relief to those diagnosed with the condition. The study was based on past research and was conducted on about 2,000 people.
Gordon and his research team examined 33 trials that tested the effects of resistance training on individuals with depression. The study showed that strength exercise improved moods, loss of interest in activities, and the feelings of worthlessness, all of which are linked to depression.
“Interestingly, larger improvements were found among adults with depressive symptoms indicative of mild-to-moderate depression compared to adults without such scores, suggesting RET may be particularly effective for those with greater depressive symptoms,” Gordon commented.
Gordon suggests people battling depression to have a strength training session at least two days a week, with eight to 12 repetitions of eight to 10 distinct strength-building exercises. He adds that aerobic exercise, yoga, and cardio are also good for a person’s mental health.
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