The study, published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, found that exercise, particularly strength training, affected mood in individuals over 62. According to Arent, one reason for that is what strength training does for seniors’ self-esteem.
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“Strength training prevents loss of muscle mass and bone density, conditions that can interfere with the independence and quality of life of an older person,” he says. “Mundane tasks that were once difficult, such as grocery shopping, are no longer an issue.” And when an older person can resume abandoned physical activities, like playing with grand-kids or gardening, it’s amazing how quickly his or her depression lifts.