It is well known that aerobic exercise, such as running and cycling, may help you live longer, but little is known about the effects of lifting weights on longevity. Now, the results of a new study suggest that incorporating weightlifting into your exercise regime in later life is a wise thing to do if you want to avoid early death.
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The aim of the study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, was to find out whether lifting weights was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, either by itself or with moderate to vigorous exercise.
Moderate-intensity exercise was described as “activity where you sweated lightly or increased your breathing and heart rate to a moderately high level”, and vigorous activity as “working up a sweat”. activity for or enough to increase your breathing and heart rate”. very high level”.
Researchers led by a team from the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, analyzed data from just 100,000 men and women from ten cancer centers in the US. Participants had a mean age of 71 years and a mean body mass index of 27.8 (overweight). They followed the group just shy of a decade, monitoring deaths from any cause, including heart disease.
About a quarter of people (23%) reported lifting weights, with 16% doing so regularly – one to six times a week. And about a third (32%) either met or exceeded the recommended amount of aerobic exercise.
lifting And aerobic exercise was independently associated with a lower risk of premature death from any cause, except cancer.
For adults who reported no aerobic activity, any weight lifting was associated with a 9%-22% lower risk of early death, depending on how often they lifted weights. For those who did not lift weights but did any level of aerobic exercise, it was 24%-34%.
However, the lowest risk was seen in those who did both weight lifting and aerobic exercise, For example, lifting weights once or twice a week and doing at least the recommended amount of aerobic exercise was associated with a 41%–47% lower risk of premature death.
The study also found that women benefited more from weightlifting than men.
Explanation for the Conclusions
A possible explanation for these findings is that weight lifting may have a similar beneficial effect as aerobic exercise. For example, reducing heart disease Risk factors by improving blood pressure and blood lipid (cholesterol and triglycerides) profile.
Other recent research that combined studies on muscle strength and health outcomes found similar results, but found to have a lower risk cancer, Altogether. Perhaps this new study found no effect for cancer because they were already targeting high cancer risk populations, given that the participants were part of a cancer screening program. The best effect was again seen with a combination of aerobic and strengthening activity.
For example, asking participants to recall how much exercise they had done in the past year is a good option for these types of large observational studies, but may mean over- or under-reporting. may affect the conclusions. A study using digital devices such as smartwatches to measure actual activity would provide more accurate results.
The people involved in this study were also recruited as part of a cancer screening tests, so the study would probably recruit people interested in health, meaning they could be more physically active as a result. This means that in the general population, the risk of early death related to not exercising or lifting weights is probably even higher.
Findings from this study and others suggest that lifting weights, either by itself or in conjunction with aerobic exercise, may help reduce the risk of early death. Lifting weights should be a lifelong commitment. It’s never too late to start, and the result can be a healthier, longer life.
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