August 31, 2022 – People who Body lifting Understand that they are playing a long game.
Once they get past their “beginner gains” – the rapid, dramatic increases in muscle strength and size – it takes time, effort and patience to keep making progress.
Whether they know it or not, they’re playing too longevity Game.
A growing body of research shows that resistance training adds years to both life and the “healthy period” – the period of life in which we are healthy.
Study review 2022 Japanese researchers have linked “muscle-strengthening activities” to a 15% lower risk of death.
resistance Playing sports It has also been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (17%), cancer (12%), and diabetes (17%).
We’ve known that for a long time Strength is an excellent indicator of future health. Lots of research has shown that, all else being equal, strong men and women are less likely to die during a given period than people with less strength.
This new research shows that strength training It offers similar protection, regardless of the results of that training. So, even if you don’t think you’re getting as strong or agile as you’d like, you should keep up with it – because chances are, you’re still helping your health tremendously.
How does strength training help you as you age?
For longevity, strength training appears to be particularly effective for older adults, says Tufts University professor Roger Fielding, Ph.D.who has been studying the role of exercise in the aging process since the early 1990s.
“With age, we see distinct deficits in muscle function and bone health,” he says. “Everything can be slowed down, mitigated, or reversed with proper exercise.”
His concept of “appropriate” has changed a lot in the past three decades. “When I first started studying these things, we were trying to give people a very formal prescription” for strength training, he says.
A strength training recipe typically includes lots of sets (three per exercise), moderate reps (eight to 12 per set), and relatively heavy weights. It also required professional supervision in a well-equipped gym, which was unattractive and impractical for most of the target population.
“What I’ve learned is that even less intense strength training, at home, without a lot of specialized equipment, has some benefits,” he says.
What are the benefits? It’s hard to say.
Research linking resistance exercise to lower mortality comes from large-scale surveys of tens or even hundreds of thousands of people. The broad category of “muscle strengthening exercises” can include anything from Gymnastics In the living room to a serious program of bodybuilding or weightlifting.
It is also based on the self-reports of the people studied. Because of that, “we have to be careful how we interpret some of these studies,” says Fielding.
How Much Strength Training Should You Do?
This caveat seems particularly apt for the study’s most surprising conclusion: The maximum longevity benefit comes from one or two sessions of resistance exercise per week totaling 30 to 60 minutes.
The study adds that it’s not clear why vigorous exercise is decreasing or even its negative returns.
Robert Lincoln, owner of Seniors Training in Shingle Springs, California, thinks the answer is pretty clear.
“Less may be more for the starting lifter,” he says. That’s why his new clients usually start out with two 50-minute workouts a week. But after 3 months, they need to train three times a week to continue making gains.
He currently has 14 clients who have been with him for at least 16 years. Most of them started in their 50s and are now in their 60s or 70s. If there’s any downside to exercising more than twice a week, he’s sure to watch it now.
Live longer and move longer, too
Lincoln says his training program includes more than just lifting. Clients begin each workout with 10 to 15 minutes of movement and warm-up exercises. This is followed by 15 minutes of strength training and 15 minutes of high-intensity resistance training (HIRT).
HIRT uses functional exercises – lifting and carrying dumbbells or bells; Pushing or pulling a heavy sled – to improve strength and endurance at the same time.
“Most of the clients I get are training for real-life jobs,” Lincoln says.
Falling is one of their biggest fears, and for good reason: According to the World Health Organization, It is the second leading cause of death related to unintentional injuries All over the world, behind only traffic accidents.
Their other major concern is the loss of their independence, which often follows a fall. “They want to feel like they’re nowhere near using a cane or a walker or getting stuck in a wheelchair,” he says. “The more we train, the further away we get from it.”
This is where strength training offers its unique advantages, according to Study 2019 From researchers at McMaster University. The study says resistance exercise is “particularly effective for maintaining mobility in older adults”.
Training for life
Conventional aerobic exercise also offers many of the same benefits, including a longer lifespan and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.
But there is no need to choose one or the other. as such recent study It was observed that the combination of aerobic exercise and strength training resulted in a lower risk of premature death than either of them alone.
Which makes perfect sense in Fielding.
“Usually, physically active people don’t just do strength exercises on their own,” he says. “Some exercise is better than no exercise,” and more is usually better than little. “People have to find things they like to do and want to do and be able to do them consistently.”