Background: Despite important advances in the relationship between exercise and mood disorders, especially regarding moderate-intensity continuous training, there is a lack of information about the chronic effects of interval training protocols. We compared the effects of two different interval training protocols [sprint interval training (SIT) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT)] on depressive and anxious symptoms in healthy women. Methods: Thirty-six women were randomly allocated to HIIT (n = 18) or SIT (n = 18) groups and performed 24 training sessions over 8 weeks (thrice a week). Levels of state–trait anxiety and depressive symptoms were evaluated using State–Trait Anxiety Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory, respectively, before and after training intervention. Results: Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) did not reveal a significant effect of time (p > 0.05), group intervention (p > 0.05), or time × group interaction (p > 0.05) on state–trait anxiety; however, two-way ANOVA showed a significant effect of time on depressive symptoms (p = 0.025) but not group effect (p = 0.548) or time × group interaction (p = 0.373). Depressive symptoms of the participants in both HIIT and SIT groups were reduced from baseline, (ΔHIIT) −17.5 ± 27.9% and (ΔSIT) −28.6 ± 47.5%, respectively. Conclusion: HIIT and SIT groups similarly improved depressive symptoms but not anxiety levels in healthy and physically active young adult women.
Interval Training Improves Depressive Symptoms But Not Anxious Symptoms in Healthy Women