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Weight training may ease anxiety in young adults

Lifting weights may help reduce anxiety, according to a postdoctoral scholar at Penn State Cancer Institute and Penn State College of Medicine. Dr. Brett Gordon, a trainee with The ONE Group, coauthored a study on weight training and anxiety that was featured in the New York Times.

The researchers studied 28 physically healthy young adults who did not have signs and symptoms of an anxiety disorder. They were divided into a control group who continued to live their normal lives and another group that began a weight training routine based on guidelines from the World Health Organization and the American College of Sports Medicine. Participants in both groups completed anxiety questionnaires over the course of eight weeks.

At the end of the study, participants in the weight training group reported lower levels of anxiety than when they started. The control group remained about the same.

Based on the results, Gordon said people experiencing feelings of anxiety could try taking up weight training.

“There are numerous ways to strength train with little to no equipment,” Gordon said. “Try common bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, sit-ups or squats, or use household items as weights.”

This study was completed while Dr. Gordon was a doctoral student at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Dr. Gordon was funded through a postgraduate scholarship from the Irish Research Council.

Read more about the study in a story from People Magazine

Readers with a subscription to the New York Times can read more about the study here

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