The mental health of one in four people with depressive symptoms can benefit from resistance exercise training.

About 10% of people experience depression at some time in their life.

It is not a sign of personal weakness.

Depression is caused by biochemical changes in the brain.

It is often referred to as a “chemical imbalance.”

Depression can last weeks, months or even years before getting better on its own. But it will usually improve when treated with medication or other kinds of therapy.

A recent research meta-analysis reported resistance training exercise such as weight lifting significantly reduces depressive symptoms among adults regardless of health status, total amount of resistance exercise, or significant improvements in strength.

This research supported exercise training as an alternative and/or adjuvant therapy for depressive symptoms.

This may be because resistance exercise improves appetite, improves sleep, and impacts the chemical balance in the brain.

If you feel low what can you do to improve your mood?

  1. Avoid alcohol. Many patients with depression drink alcohol to help them sleep or to “calm their nerves.”  But alcohol alters brain chemistry and disrupts sleep the same way depression does.
  2. Do not use illegal drugs, sedatives or stimulants
  3. Get plenty of rest.
  4. Exercise regularly.
  5. Eat regularly.
  6. Keep socially active.
  7. Do not make any major life changes. When you are feeling bad, it can be difficult to deal with problems. They will seem more manageable when you are feeling better.

Do you want to add resistance exercise to your routine to improve your mood?

Reach out to us for advice and coaching!


Gordon BR, McDowell CP, Hallgren M, Meyer JD, Lyons M, Herring MP. Association of Efficacy of Resistance Exercise Training With Depressive SymptomsMeta-analysis and Meta-regression Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(6):566–576. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.0572

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice.  If you are having depressive symptoms seek the help of a health care professional.