Humans have set some wacky, but impressive, weightlifting records: Most weight lifted using teeth? 620 pounds. Most weight lifted with the little finger? 242 pounds. And 182 pounds is the record weight lifted with an ear using a clamp.
We hope you’re not trying these risky forms of weightlifting. But if you’re not experimenting with some form of strength training, we suggest you give it a try. Not only has resistance/strength training been linked to better heart health and stronger muscles and bones, but now there’s good evidence that lifting weights and doing resistance exercise also can lift your mood.
An international mix of researchers from Iowa State University, as well as Sweden and Ireland, reviewed more than 30 studies on resistance training, with 1,877 participants, and found that this type of exercise was associated with a significant reduction in depressive symptoms.
So if you contend with anxiety, apathy, low mood or sadness, try resistance training. You don’t have to be a world-class lifter, you can use your own body weight as resistance doing squats, push-ups and planks, or try stretchy tubes or bands that work arms, legs, glutes and more. If you do 20 to 30 minutes three days a week, you’ll begin to feel the mood-lifting benefits pretty quickly. Add 30 minutes of aerobics, like interval walking, five days a week, and you’ll discover how powerful improved circulation, strength and coordination are when it comes to both your physical and psychological well-being.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.