Resistance exercise training (RET) significantly improves anxiety symptoms, and improvements were not moderated by sex or based on features of the resistance exercise training (1).
Larger effects were derived from studies of healthy participants compared to participants with a physical or mental illness. Nonetheless, RET significantly reduced anxiety among otherwise healthy participants and participants with an illness (1).
Quality of evidence
B – Consistent evidence from meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.
Strength of recommendation
1 – significant benefit, low risk of PA.
1) Gordon BR, McDowell CP, Lyons M, Herring MP. The Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Sports Med. 2017 Dec;47(12):2521-2532. doi: 10.1007/s40279-017-0769-0. PMID: 28819746.
2) Jayakody K, Gunadasa S, Hosker C. Exercise for anxiety disorders: systematic
review. Br J Sports Med. 2014 Feb;48(3):187-96. doi:
10.1136/bjsports-2012-091287. Epub 2013 Jan 7. PMID: 23299048