Amy Geary - Resistance Training for Mental Health
It's quite well established now how beneficial movement and exercise can be for our general health and wellbeing. There has been more focus in the last couple of years on the benefits of resistance training in particular and studies demonstrate how this type of training can help reduce anxiety and
help balance mood.
A study from the University of Limerick from 2018 demonstrated the positive
effects for a group of 28 men and women who were put on a resistance training programme. The group who undertook the training showed the lowest levels of anxiety, compared with the control group (the comparison group who did not undertake any training). Other studies have demonstrated improvements in mood, coping skills, energy and increased self worth and motivation.
My own experience as a person who follows a regular resistance training programme and also coaches others in this area is that it can be a very meditative practice. I find myself getting into a great flow in the gym and really focusing on this one goal throughout the session, leaving little room for general worry and the typical daily ruminations!
The process of building strength to gradually move a little bit more weight is one that can be very empowering and rewarding. I have found that some clients will start to transition from seeing their training as primarily for weight loss or aesthetic purposes to seeing merit in just becoming stronger and maybe accomplishing a push up or some
other amazing feat!
I find that some people can feel some intimidation about starting this type oftraining but there are multiple different ways to give it a try such as a resistance training class, a cross training class, meeting with a coach at the gym or there is some great quality content online these days as well.