Strength training and cardio can help you live longer

September 2, 2022
Strength training and cardio can help you live longer

Switching up aerobic exercise and strength training on the regular has been associated with a low mortality risk – even lower than when doing either aerobic exercise or strength training alone. New research using data from the US National Health Interview Survey, revealed a stark 40% lower mortality risk for people who committed to both types of exercise.

This was roughly the difference between a nonsmoker and someone with a half-a-pack-a-day habit.

In this study, some 416,000 American adult participants filled out questionnaires detailing the types of physical activity they had been doing, which included specifying how much moderate or vigorous exercise, along with how many sessions of muscle-strengthening exercises they did in a week.

Researchers noted how participants who engaged in one hour of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity a week had a 15% lower mortality risk; mortality risk was 27% lower for those who did aerobic exercises three hours a week; and a 40% lower mortality risk for those who additionally incorporated one to two strength-training sessions per week.

Another recent research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicated strength training had visible impact to longevity: researchers found a 10% to 20% drop in the risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer after the implementation of 30 to 60 minutes of strength training a week.

Health and fitness experts generally agree that regular strength training can have important benefits for healthy ageing, including maintaining a high quality of life. Strength training builds up your muscle strength, which is required for a number of daily activities, such as getting out of a chair, opening a jar of pickles, carrying groceries into the house, or doing yardwork.

Regular strength training can also prevent you from losing muscle mass – you can lose muscle mass as early as 30 years old, and progressively after.

Dr. Bruce Moseley, an orthopaedic surgeon at Baylor College of Medicine, recommended starting on a consistent strength-training schedule and easing into it to avoid overuse injuries. “Keep it at a light and easy level at first; once your body starts getting adjusted, then you can start increasing.”

Dr. Moseley advised seeking out expert advice through an exercise class or consulting with a personal trainer if you’re unsure of the exercises. The important thing, he said, is to get to started and to make it a habit – not only can this help you live longer; it will improve your quality of life.

Category: Features, Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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