Resistance Exercise Lowers Anxiety Symptoms in Young Adults


“In newly released guidelines, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends resistance training and muscle strengthening exercises on two or more days each week. When it comes to anxiety, evidence on the relationship between resistance training and anxiety symptoms in young adults with and without anxiety disorder is limited. In a randomized controlled trial published in Scientific Reports, researchers looked at the effect of resistance training on anxiety and worry symptoms in young adults without a general anxiety disorder.

The intervention was designed according to WHO and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines. It consisted of eight weeks of twice-weekly private sessions, with resistance increasing progressively throughout the intervention. Participants focused on eight movements:

  • barbell squat,
  • bench press,
  • hexagon bar deadlift,
  • seated lateral raise,
  • barbell bent-over rows,
  • weighted lunges,
  • seated dumbbell curls, and
  • crunches.”

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