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Training for Mental Health

Mission Monday Episode 19

Training for Mental Health

Mission Monday Episode 19

The last two years have been challenging for people’s mental health.

In fact, 2 out of every 5 adults in the US reported symptoms of anxiety or a depression disorder at the start of 2021.

Considering the virus concerns, loss of jobs and incomes, and lack of human connection, it’s easy to see why the last two years have been such an emotionally challenging time.

Thankfully, there are a number of proven ways to enhance mental health. Strength training is one of these methods.

Anxiety & Depression

Specifically, let’s look at two of the most common mental health conditions: anxiety and depression.

If you have first-hand experience with these conditions, you know they are very different but both have the ability to debilitate those who are affected.

You know that these two conditions are very different but both have the ability to be debilitating.

None of what we discuss here in this brief article is meant to replace your doctor or the mental health professional that you work with.

Our aim is to relay the results of published research in this area…

How can strength training help you if you suffer from anxiety or depression?

Let’s start with anxiety. The authors of a research article described strength training as a “powerful drug” for reducing anxiety.

In fact, the researchers said strength training offers an anxiety-controlling benefit that’s similar to what medications and psychotherapy offer!

Strength training helps those who struggle with anxiety for a few reasons.

Strength training offers a distraction from the thoughts and topics that might create anxiety. Also, strength training is known to be an effective confidence-building tool.

When adding confidence, people have less concern about handling future situations.

What about depression?

According to one Harvard study, strength training can significantly reduce depression in less than 3 months.

Strength training also reduces feelings related to depression, such as anger and confusion
There are a few mechanisms that explain why strength training helps depression:

  • Strength training helps people sleep better, which puts them in a better emotional state
  • Also, exercise increases the flow of blood and nutrients to the brain which, in turn, enhances brain function

In conclusion, If you’re looking for an additional tool for reducing anxiety, depression, or to boost your overall mood, strength training is a proven approach that can help. As always, look below to see references to the studies.

If you would like to learn more about our method of strength training, read about our methodology. If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a workout with us and book a FREE Introductory Session.

  • Cassilhas, R. C., Viana, V. A., Grassmann, V., Santos, R. T., Santos, R. F., Tufik, S. E. R. G. I. O., & Mello, M. T. (2007). The impact of resistance exercise on the cognitive function of the elderly. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 39(8), 1401.
  • Gordon, B.R., McDowell, C.P., Lyons, M., & Herring, M.P. (2017). The effects of resistance exercise training on anxiety: a meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis of randomized controlled trials. Sports Medicine, 47(12), 2521-2532.
  • Panchal, N., Kamal, R., Orgera, K., Cox, C., Garfield, R., Hamel, L., & Chidambaram, P. (2020). The implications of COVID-19 for mental health and substance use. Kaiser Family Foundation, 21.
  • Singh, N. A., Clements, K. M., Fiatarone, M. A. (1997). Sleep, sleep deprivation, and daytime activities: a randomized controlled trial of the effect of exercise on sleep. Sleep, 20(2), 95-101.