Resistance Training Is Shown To Be More Effective Than Aerobic Exercise To Treat Anxiety

By now, everyone knows that exercise improves health on many levels--including mental health as well as physical health. There have been a number of studies that suggest that regular exercise can help ease symptoms of anxiety, but there is still debate over what exercise is best. Most recommendations are for aerobic exercise, as that's what has traditionally been studied the most. A new study, however, found that resistance training had an advantage over aerobic exercise in reducing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

The Study

This study, presented at the American College of Sports Medicine 58th Annual Meeting, randomized 30 sedentary women with GAD into three groups. One group participated in a 6-week resistance training regimen, one group in a 6-week aerobic exercise regimen, and the control group was placed on a waitlist and did not participate in a prescribed exercise regimen.

The Results

When anxiety levels and worry symptoms were compared across groups at the end of the 6 weeks, the researchers found that rates of remission in the resistance training group were as high as 60%, compared with 40% in the aerobic exercise group and 30% in the control group.

Lead author Dr. Matthew Herring, of the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, thought that the intensity of the activity may have something to do with the resistance training's effectiveness. He noted that the women perceived greater exertion during resistance training sessions than aerobic sessions.

"Our findings suggest that exercise training is a feasible, safe, and well-tolerated short-term treatment option, potential adjuvant therapy, or augmentation for patients with generalized anxiety disorder," concluded Dr. Herring.

Photo: Pexels

Anxiety Support Groups

More Articles

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, no matter how severe it is, you know the detrimental effects it can have on your mental state.

...

Everyone experiences mild anxiety from time to time. Occasional stress over work and family obligations is a normal part of life, as is anxiety...

The term antipsychotic refers to a large group of medications that are most often used to treat the psychotic symptoms found in people with...

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced in response to stress, and it is a necessary part of the fight or flight response that helps the...

Who we spend our time with is just as important as what we spend our time doing; maintaining close relationships is a necessary and wonderful part...

More Articles

Hoarding is the behavior of acquiring an excessive number of items that have little or no value. While many people consider themselves to be "pack...

Much of our anxiety rests on assumptions that we have made. We assume the worst possible scenario will come true. We assume we know what others...

Inderal, known generically as propranolol, is a beta blocker that has been in use since the 1960s. Like other beta blockers, it was developed to...

The fourth version of the diagnostic manual for mental disorders, or DSM-IV, has now been replaced by a fifth revision, called the DSM-5.

...

Drinking coffee makes you jumpy. Caffeine makes you jittery, it messes up your sleep cycle, and in large enough amounts, it becomes...

In what probably doesn't come as a surprise to many people, a research study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology reports that the...

The difference between anxiety and depression isn't as clear as one might initially assume. While they are different disorders with different...

The phrase “natural remedy” means different things to different people, but people searching for natural remedies for anxiety attacks are usually...

All of the little things we do to help ourselves gradually allow us to feel and do better.

If you are prone to anxiety, be attentive to how...

Acupuncture, a procedure that originated thousands of years ago in China, is becoming an increasingly common choice for treating anxiety and...

I subscribe to the Psychotherapy Networker e-newsletter and just read a great article by Nancy Errebo, Psy. D., about using EMDR with a returning...

Risperidone is the generic name of an atypical antipsychotic that is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat anxiety and anxiety disorders. It is...

A study published in the journal Archives of Psychiatry has found that anxiety and mood disorders are more common in people with low incomes....

If you've found that being under stress has an effect on your appetite and weight, you're in good company. While some people lose weight when they...

Relationship anxiety is excessive worry about either forming or keeping a relationship. And it is considered one aspect of social anxiety disorder...