Resistance training shows promise for reducing depressive symptoms in underserved black men

There is previous evidence that exercise can help depression. A study published in BMC Psychiatry examined whether resistance training may benefit black men, a group less likely to seek treatment with depressive symptoms.

Depression is a widespread and serious problem worldwide. Black men are a group particularly vulnerable to underreporting and undertreatment of depression. There are significant stigmas and barriers to providing care to Black men who seek help for their mental illness.

resistance training such as B. lifting weights, has been linked to improvement in depression symptoms in previous research. It has not been studied in relation to black men but could be a very useful intervention for this group since resistance training is a widely accepted form of exercise for black men. This study aims to fill this gap in research and examine the effects of resistance training on depressive symptoms in black men.

Study author Joseph T. Ciccolo and his colleagues recruited participants from the community who identified as cisgender Black or African American males aged 21 years or older. They had a total of 50 participants and randomized 25 into each group. 44% of the participants were HIV positive and the mean age was 41.34 years. Both groups were offered 2 one-hour sessions per week for 12 weeks for a total of 24 sessions offered.

The resistance training group had physical resistance training and behavioral activation, while the attentional control group had health, wellness, and education, where they watched videos and discussed.

The results showed that resistance training showed a significantly greater reduction in depression in Black men than the educational control condition. These results were seen both immediately after her exercise program and after a 6-month follow-up period. The effect sizes of these findings were similar to a recent meta-analysis of antidepressant versus placebo, which is particularly relevant for Black men because exercise does not share the same barriers as psychiatric treatment, particularly for this group.

This study took very important steps in understanding how exercise can be an intervention for Black men with depressive symptoms. Still, it has some limitations. First, the sample included only men with mild to moderate depressive symptoms, and it cannot be assumed that the effects would occur in major depression. In addition, for this study, the intervention was delivered by a psychologist and to test whether the effects would last if the intervention was delivered by an athletic trainer.

“The results are encouraging and suggest that further work is warranted,” the researchers concluded. “Future research will be crucial in shaping community-based technologies [resistance training] Programs that could eventually increase black men’s access to and uptake of depression treatments. Future work could also explore RT as an adjunct treatment to standard psychiatric care.”

The study “Resistance Training for Black Men with Depressive Symptoms: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial to Assess Acceptability, Feasibility, and Preliminary Efficacy” was authored by Joseph T. Ciccolo, Mark E. Louie, Nicholas J. SantaBarbara, Christopher T Webster, James W. Whitworth , Sanaz Nosrat, Michelle Chrastek, Shira I Dunsiger, Michael P Carey, and Andrew M Busch.

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