People who do resistance exercises like weight lifting and strength training may experience fewer depression symptoms, a research review suggests.
The study team analyzed data from 33 clinical trials that randomly assigned a total of 947 adults to participate in resistance training programs and another 930 adults to be inactive. Resistance workouts were associated with fewer depression symptoms regardless of whether participants had a physical or mental health problem, although the effect was most pronounced in adults with mild to moderate depression, the study team reports in JAMA Psychiatry.
Resistance training was associated with a reduction in depression symptoms regardless of how often people exercised.
It also didn’t appear to matter whether participants experienced improvements in strength or gains in muscle mass.
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