It has long been known that any physical activity regularly is good for you. It has great positive effects on your mental health and you overall well being. The latest study in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine has aimed itself towards comparing the effects hatha yoga and resistance exercise has on mental health and well being in adults.

Hatha Yoga or the goal of it is to gain control of the physical body. The practitioner tries to gain control of the prana or life energy and in doing so gains control of the mind. This was one of the groups the study divided the 51 participants into. The second group was those that under went resistance training and exercise whilst the last did nothing – they were the control group. For seven weeks theses groups did either their yoga sessions or resistance exercise three days a week and the control group did nothing.

By evaluating each participant through a number of tests that ranged from self esteem and depression to body, fatigue (post and pre session) and health the researchers were able to find that hatha yoga and resistance exercise had significantly positive effects on improving mental health and general well being of the participants while the control group had no improvements at all.

Hatha yoga had more improved effects on fatigue, self esteem and quality of life, whilst resistance training and exercise improved body image more. Both types of physical activity decreased the symptoms of depression on similar levels.

Each physical activity session, either yoga or resistance training, can be seen to have varying effects on the many aspects of mental health and well being compared to the control group that did neither.