Feeling Anxious? Weight training may help!

Talk about a year full of stressors! From global pandemic-related concerns to election-year woes, you might feel all sorts of anxiety. Looking for a way to manage it? It turns out that weight training can help ease anxiety in adults. A study published by Scientific Reports in 2020, examined healthy young adults who regularly lifted weights. The study determined that regular weight training can significantly reduce anxiety.

Mental Health and Weight Training 

Resistance Training and Depression

In recent years, other academic studies have started to look at the mental health effects of weight training. For instance, in 2018 the Journal of American Medical Association Psychiatry (JAMA Psychiatry) published a study about 33 randomized clinical trials that examined resistance exercise training (aka weight training) and its effects on depression. This study identified typical first-line treatments of depression as psychotherapy and medication, both of which can be expensive and can result in unwanted side effects. Not only that, but individuals with depression continued to experience depressive symptoms after receiving these treatments.

Researchers then compared potential alternative treatments like resistance exercise with established first-line treatments.  The JAMA Psychiatry study determined that weight training reduced depression in adults. 

Resistance training and good mental health

Previous studies have shown weight training can reduce depression in adults. The Scientific Reports study was the first of its kind to figure out whether lifting weights could improve mental health of those who are considered in generally good mental health already. The good news is that it does! So not only can weight training help strengthen your muscles, it can help put your mind at ease. And with the holiday season coming up, it could be a good time to consider a strength-building exercise program. You don’t necessarily have to have equipment to reap the benefits of strength training at home. Check out our blog, “Bodyweight Exercise: No Equipment Needed!” for ideas on how to use objects around the house or your bodyweight to strengthen your muscles. 

Build a customized weight-training program with a physical therapist

If you’re looking for a customized weight-training workout, consider talking with one of our physical therapists at rombot.com/book. You may be thinking, “Why would I speak to a physical therapist about a workout program?” Physical therapists are skilled assessors of how your body moves. They can help identify compensations you may be making that should be fixed before you take on a rigorous strength-training program. As seasoned professionals they know how your joints and muscles should work together, and the best ways to help you achieve your fitness goals in the most injury-preventing way. Think of your relationship with your physical therapist as preventative medicine for movement. Plus, you’ll help release potential anxiety by preventing your risk of injury and getting stronger, simultaneously!


Gordon, B. M. R. (2018, June 1). Association of Efficacy of Resistance Exercise Training With Depressive Symptoms: Meta-analysis and. JAMA Network. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2680311

Gordon, B. R., McDowell, C. P., Lyons, M., & Herring, M. P. (2020, October 16). Resistance exercise training for anxiety and worry symptoms among young adults: a randomized controlled trial. Scientific Reports. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-74608-6?error=cookies_not_supported&code=6f0d2c76-c217-48f1-83ae-716eab72e256

Reynolds, G. (2020, November 10). Weight Training May Help Ease Anxiety. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/04/well/mind/anxiety-stress-weight-training-lifting-resistance.html?referringSource=articleShare

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