In a study of midlife women in Singapore, weak upper- and lower-body strength was associated with depression and anxiety. Researchers analyzed data from 1,159 healthy women ages 45–69 for physical activity, physical performance, lifestyle choices, reproductive health, sociodemographic characteristics, and depression and anxiety symptoms. Weak handgrip strength and poor lower-body strength were associated with elevated symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Fifteen percent of participants reported depression and/or anxiety.

“Strength training has been shown to lead to a significant reduction in depressive symptoms,” said JoAnn Pinkerton, MD, executive director of the North American Meno┬¡pause Society. “Both strength training and aerobic exercise appear to improve depression, possibly as a result of increased blood flow to the brain or improved coping with stress from the release of endorphins such as norepinephrine and dopamine.”

Future research needs to determine whether strengthening exercises that improve physical performance can reduce depression and anxiety in midlife women.

The current study appeared in Menopause (2019; doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000001355).

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

1 Comment

  1. Lydia Konopka on November 5, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    would like information for our website

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