Get Depressed Patients to Lift Weights

Resistance exercise training significantly reduces depressive symptoms, a new meta-analysis has found.

According to international researchers who looked at over 30 randomised clinical trials on the subject, resistance exercise training including activities such as weight lifting reduced depressive symptoms by an average of a third. In fact, the meta-analysis findings suggested that resistance exercise training may be particularly helpful for reducing symptoms in patients with more severe depression.

The study results, published in JAMA Psychiatry, concluded that only four people needed to be treated in order to have one to show significant benefit from the intervention. And the improvement inn depressive symptoms occurred regardless of the patient’s overall health status, the volume of resistance training exercise the patient undertook or any improvements in strength the patient experienced.

And while the study authors made sure to point out their analysis was not comparing this exercise program with other treatments for depression, reducing symptoms by an average of a third certainly compares with other treatments currently available for this condition.

“The available empirical evidence supports [resistance exercise training) as an alternative or adjuvant therapy for depressive symptoms, ” the ...

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