Bodybuilding improves symptoms of depression and anxiety in older people

Bodybuilding improves symptoms of depression and anxiety in older people

According to the researcher, the results reached are very promising. In addition to improving symptoms of depression and anxiety in the general population, weight training appears to have a greater effect on people with a confirmed diagnosis of anxiety disorders and depression.

“Epidemiological studies have revealed that a decline in muscle strength and mass, which are normal events associated with aging, may be associated with an increase in mental health problems, as there are several physiological mechanisms that cause functional and structural changes that are controlled by the brain,” notes Cunha.

The researcher also highlights another important mental health benefit: when weight training is done within a group, it allows for greater social interaction between practitioners.

Recommended training

The investigation also revealed the best ways to organize training to improve mental health. “The way training is done appears to influence the results achieved. The information provided so far suggests that the optimal choice for this audience and purpose is to weight train three times a week, with three sets of each exercise and not 'very long sessions' – six seems to be Enough exercise. Do less, but do it well: a short series brings more results. This information is quite relevant, as there are still no guidelines that include specific recommendations for resistance training with an emphasis on mental health criteria,” says Cunha.

Although there are many possibilities for variation in the way resistance training programs are prescribed for health, independence, and quality of life for older adults, most of these programs lead to improvement in symptoms of anxiety and depression, directly or indirectly, regardless of severity. And the magnitude applied to training, highlights Edilson Sereno, professor at the State University of Londrina (UEL), researcher responsible for the study and coordinator of the Longitudinal Study of Active Aging, a project started in 2012 with the aim of analyzing the impact of resistance training on parameters related to the health of older women.

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

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