Lift weights to lift your spirits!

Many people use aerobic exercise to help boost their mood, with studies long associating such exercise with reducing symptoms of depression.

Now research published in JAMA Psychiatry found resistance exercise training – including bodyweight exercises – significantly reduced depressive symptoms among adults. What is particularly interesting is this was regardless of health status, total prescribed volume of resistance training, or significant improvements in strength. Just doing the exercise led people to reporting a significant reduction in symptoms such as low mood, loss of interest in activities, and feelings of worthlessness, compared with those who did not exercise. What’s more, the greatest improvements were among those with mild to moderate depression symptoms.

The big takeaway: by just lifting weights, using resistance bands or embarking on a bodyweight training regime most of us can lift our mood. So, if you are feeling a little down, and your days of hitting the road for a run are behind you, all is not lost; start lifting some weights – some half kilo jars or cans might be just the job to get you started!

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