The benefits of exercise on mental health have long been identified, documented, and validated, however the specifics have always been up in the air. ‘Exercise’ and ‘physical activity’ are very broad terms, and can be the subject of interpretation.
Well researchers from the University of Limerick in the United Kingdom have identified resistance training as the key to a more peaceful mind.
“Resistance exercise training significantly reduced depressive symptoms among adults regardless of health status, total prescribed volume of RET [resistance exercise training], or significant improvements in strength.”
The study of 1,877 individuals took particular note and measurements on feelings of worthlessness, low mood, and interest in the activity they were participating in.
“Interestingly, larger improvements were found among adults with depressive symptoms indicative of mild-to-moderate depression compared to adults without such scores, suggesting RET may be particularly effective for those with greater depressive symptoms,” suggested researcher Brett Gordon.
Whilst the study failed to provide evidence on the chemical reason behind the effectiveness of resistance training on mood, the results were enough for researchers to categorical recognize it’s benefits.
So how can you experience this boost in mood? Well the good news is you don’t have to hit the Olympic lifts immediately. Give the below circuit a good go, and let the good times roll.
Mood Boosting Dumbbell Complex
Complete 10 rounds of the following complex.
The complex should be completed without dropping the dumbbells (go light if you’re starting out).
10 x Hammer curl
10 x Front rack squat
10 x Push press
10 x Reverse lunge
10 x Tricep extension
2 minutes rest