Tuesday 22 October 2019

Weightlifting and resistance training can lift off the weight of depression - major Limerick study

Gym work could help fight mental illness
Gym work could help fight mental illness

David Raleigh

Weightlifting and other forms of resistance training can lift off the weight of depression, a major study conducted by University of Limerick has revealed.

The large-scale study found that resistance training was comparable in effect to frontline treatments such as antidepressant and behavioural therapies.

The study, what is entitled 'Association of Efficacy of Resistance Exercise Training With Depressive Symptoms', has been published online in 'JAMA Psychiatry'.

The review, comprising 1,877 participants in total, also found that strength training or weightlifting "is free from the negative side-effects and high costs of many medications and therapies", according to Brett R Gordon of the Physical Education and Sport Sciences Department at University of Limerick.

"Strength or resistance training can also be carried out alongside the other therapies," he added.

Previous research demonstrated that exercise training improves depressive symptoms among otherwise healthy adults, those with a variety of medical conditions, and adults with a depressive disorder.

However, most of the evidence to date is based on findings from trials of aerobic exercise training (running, cycling, swimming, etc).

Up until now the effects of resistance exercise training or weightlifting and strength training on depressive symptoms had remained relatively understudied, and had not been summarised in a large-scale quantitative review such the university's research.

According to the survey, reductions in depressive symptoms where resistance exercise training took place occurred regardless of whether the participants were healthy or had an illness, the amount of resistance training the participants were supposed to do, or whether or not it resulted in significant improvements in their strength.

The effect of resistance exercise training on depressive symptoms did not significantly vary based on the frequency or intensity of the training sessions.

Irish Independent

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