To Your Health
February, 2024 (Vol. 18, Issue 02)
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Resisting Anxiety

By Editorial Staff

Or at least reducing the impact; that's the priority for anyone experiencing anxiety and/or depressive symptoms. Resistance – as in resistance exercise – may help, according to a new review study that summarized the evidence on the topic.

One study found that resistance training improved anxiety symptoms in both healthy and chronically ill adults. A second study revealed that resistance exercise reduced symptoms of depression to a clinically significant degree – comparable to that achieved with antidepressant medication or behavioral therapies.

So, why does resistance training (better known as strength training) have this positive effect? According to the review authors, whose findings appear in the research journal Trends in Molecular Medicine, several mechanisms may be involved, including improving poor cerebral blood flow and neural adaptations due to controlled breathing during exercise.

Increasing research suggests your exercise routine should include both aerobic and resistance exercise to optimize mental and physical health and wellness. If you're only doing one type of physical activity – or none at all, ask your doctor for help developing an exercise program that's right for you.