Getty Images
Getty Images

Weekend Links: Learn to Dance

Getty Images
Getty Images

A Russian man writes about attending an NFL game for the first time, and his take is fantastic. "Sort of a bird derby."
*
Finally! For even the most rhythmically challenged among us: The Charlie Brown School of Dance.
*
For the left brained among you looking for bragging rights, or the right brained looking for a challenge, check out these timed math quizzes.
*

When playing with your food is an art: check out one photographer's fascination with mini food.
*
Don't judge a book by its cover, but do consider judging it by its 99th page. The Page 99 test lets you read up and coming authors' prose to see if you would want to turn the page. A novel idea ...
*
Speaking of writing, or any art: this is fantastic for brainstorming: moodboards for inspiration. Choose the music, the mood and the theme of the content, and will provide you a kaleidoscope of their content to help get your creative juices flowing.
*
Buzzfeed presents 45 important lessons from 2012, meaning 45 useless GIFs and pictures that may make you chuckle.

***
A big thanks to everyone who sent in links this week -- keep it up! Send your submissions to FlossyLinks@gmail.com

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
quiz
One-Syllable Presidents
iStock
iStock
nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Health
Feeling Down? Lifting Weights Can Lift Your Mood, Too
iStock
iStock

There’s plenty of research that suggests that exercise can be an effective treatment for depression. In some cases of depression, in fact—particularly less-severe ones—scientists have found that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants, which don’t work for everyone and can come with some annoying side effects. Previous studies have largely concentrated on aerobic exercise, like running, but new research shows that weight lifting can be a useful depression treatment, too.

The study in JAMA Psychiatry, led by sports scientists at the University of Limerick in Ireland, examined the results of 33 previous clinical trials that analyzed a total of 1877 participants. It found that resistance training—lifting weights, using resistance bands, doing push ups, and any other exercises targeted at strengthening muscles rather than increasing heart rate—significantly reduced symptoms of depression.

This held true regardless of how healthy people were overall, how much of the exercises they were assigned to do, or how much stronger they got as a result. While the effect wasn’t as strong in blinded trials—where the assessors don’t know who is in the control group and who isn’t, as is the case in higher-quality studies—it was still notable. According to first author Brett Gordon, these trials showed a medium effect, while others showed a large effect, but both were statistically significant.

The studies in the paper all looked at the effects of these training regimes on people with mild to moderate depression, and the results might not translate to people with severe depression. Unfortunately, many of the studies analyzed didn’t include information on whether or not the patients were taking antidepressants, so the researchers weren’t able to determine what role medications might play in this. However, Gordon tells Mental Floss in an email that “the available evidence supports that [resistance training] may be an effective alternative and/or adjuvant therapy for depressive symptoms that could be prescribed on its own and/or in conjunction with other depression treatments,” like therapy or medication.

There haven’t been a lot of studies yet comparing whether aerobic exercise or resistance training might be better at alleviating depressive symptoms, and future research might tackle that question. Even if one does turn out to be better than the other, though, it seems that just getting to the gym can make a big difference.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios