What we train on the outside, effects how we think and feel on the inside. There have been numerous studies confirming the link between aerobic exercise and cognitive diseases and depressive disorders. Now more research have begun to provide quality evidence for what many of us in the fitness world have known to be a true for a long time, a link between cognitive health and resistance training.
A recent meta-analysis out of the Journal of America Medicine stated that:
“Resistance exercise training significantly reduced depressive symptoms among adults regardless of health status, total prescribed volume of RET, or significant improvements in strength.”
Meaning that the reported symptoms from the participants in the trials were improved regardless of the their other ailments, how much total exercise they did or if they even got stronger. Simply the fact that they participated in strength training regularly positively effected the subjective reports on their condition.
There are a number of theories that touch on WHY their is a connection but like any thing in the body the answer is likely due to a multifactorial effect.
Consider, the fact that depression and diabetes occur twice as often together as they do apart and that people with clinically diagnosed depression routinely have up to 50% higher concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers like C-reactive protein and IL-6 and it appears that the connection between physiological and psychological health is undeniable.
To quote Rudolph Tanzi:
“The bottom line of the line is pretty irrefutable: What’s good for the heart is good for the brain.“
Gordon, Brett R., et al. “Association of Efficacy of Resistance Exercise Training With Depressive Symptoms: Meta-analysis and Meta-regression Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.” JAMA psychiatry 75.6 (2018): 566-576.
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