I’ve written about the benefits of strength training on mental health before here. I want to share with you a new article that I’ve come across which discusses new evidence to suggest that those who suffer from symptoms of depression and those who feel their cognitive prowess is not what it used to be, should start strength training. Click the link below to read the article.
The Prescription Of Strength Training For Treating Depression And Optimizing Cognitive Performance. – Dr. David Puder, MD & Amul Shah, MD / November 8th, 2017
I’ll summarize a few important takeaways from the article here. The first is the fact that, like most everything, quality (intensity of exercise) seems to be the key variable. The harder you work the better the outcomes, and as a result less time is required to achieve these outcomes. As a bonus, in the study they refer to, sleep quality improved in both groups of exercisers (both low and high intensity strength training). However, sleep quality improved more in the high intensity group.
“…in adults >60 years old, a decrease in depression symptoms was more significant in the high intensity exercise group.”
Maximum strength seems to be associated with better improvements in depressive symptoms.
“…those who had the highest strength gains in general had a larger decrease in depressive symptoms.”
I think this quote by the author is the takeaway recommendation of the whole article.
“Yes, medications have a role in moderate and severe depression, but often after a stint of medications and psychotherapy, patients still don’t have a complete resolution of symptoms. Strength training can complete the spectrum of total care by improving a variety of mood, pain. and cognitive issues.”
It is our recommendation that you speak with your physician and/or psychiatrist to determine best medical treatment for depression and mental health issues AND there is no harm in starting a resistance training routine; you don’t even need a prescription for that and it will likely lend some great improvements in and of itself.