Combat Depression With Heavy Lifting
A recent study published by JAMA Psychiatry revealed that people who do resistance exercise or strength training may experience fewer depression symptoms. This could be related to increased blood flow to your brain or the release of mood-boosting chemicals like endorphins, norepinephrine and dopamine.
Here are 4 strength-training exercises you can practice at home to help reduce depression symptoms. Do 3 sets of 10 reps with a minute rest between sets:
- Barbell squats - Hold the bar on your chest, keeping your elbows tight and place the weight in your heels. Then bend your knees and drop down to the ground, rise up and repeat.
- Pull-ups - Grasp the bar overhand or underhand with a firm grip, then tuck your stomach in to make your body lighter and pull yourself up with your chin over the bar.
- Bench press - Lie with your back on the workout bench and firmly planting your feet to help you generate power from the ground up. Then squeeze your shoulder blades together tightly to protect your shoulders and lift the bar straight up.
- Deadlift - With your feet hip-width apart, wrap your hands on the bar outside your legs using an overhand grip. Your back should be in a neutral spine position from start to finish with shoulders down and back. The bar should graze your legs as you slowly lift up and down.
American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for strength training recommend at least two days per week by performing 8 to 12 repetitions of 8 to 10 different strength-building exercises each time.