Health & Spirit

The power of strength training

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

The two hapless weightlifters Hans and Franz (Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon) got Arnold Schwarzenegger to flex his pecs in an episode of their 1991 "Saturday Night Live" routine. And though their dubious advice to a class of 7-year-olds was to oil your body, shave your pecs and strike a pose, their real intention was to "pump ... you up."

New research in the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at data on over 80,306 adults and confirms that strength training is an important aerobic exercise -- and it can give you a younger RealAge. The University of Sydney researchers found that doing regular muscle-building workouts (no gym or weights required) was associated with a 23 percent reduction in risk of premature death from any cause and a 31 percent reduction in cancer-related deaths. Push-ups and other exercises that use your own body weight as resistance or using stretch bands or weights is equally effective.

The researchers also found that together, a routine of aerobics and strength building delivered the best boost to your health. In the study, that meant 150 minutes of aerobics and two days of strength training every week. Our favorite aerobic/strength-building routine involves:

--Walking 10,000 steps a day or the equivalent.

--Doing 7-10 minutes of strength training of your foundation muscles (abs, back, buttocks, quadriceps, hamstring, and rotators) every other day.

--Doing 8-10 minutes of strength training of your non-foundation muscles (chest, shoulder, biceps, triceps, and forearms) every other day.

--Doing 20 jumps -- to build hip and spine bones -- every day.

That will pump ... you up!


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. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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