New study: Want to live longer? Pair weightlifting with aerobics
A new study at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, is the first of its kind in showing the importance of weightlifting and aerobics in life expectancy.
According to a research paper - the largest of its kind - in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, regular exercising with weights is linked to a lower risk of premature death.
Including both weights and aerobic activities in one's weekly exercise would have a greater beneficial effect, according to researchers. It is recommended that people partake in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week - or, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity instead.
"Strengthening activities" are encouraged at least 2 days a week; activities that work out the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
It has not been very clear if working out with weights would lower the risk of premature death, though it's been clear through science that aerobic exercise shares that correlation.
In this current study, researchers that the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, obtained the data of almost 100,000 adults - average age 71 - who've volunteered for screening.
Participants gave details on their weightlifting activities and any other exercise they participated in.
Around 23% of the participants reported that they do weightlifting, and 16% said they do weightlifting at least 1 to 6 times a week. A third of the participants are "sufficiently active," 24% meet aerobic guidelines, and 8% exceed them.
The researchers followed up with the participants for almost 10 years, among which there were 28,477 deaths.
The findings showed that those who reported weightlifting activities had a lower risk of 9%.
Participants who weight lifted "regularly" had a 14% lower risk of death, whereas those who met aerobic activity levels were at a lower risk of premature death by 32%.
Furthermore, those who met the aerobic activity guidelines as well as weightlifting 1-2 times a week were found to be at 41% to 47% lower risk of premature death.
Although the study focused only on weights, other kinds of muscle-strengthening exercises were taken into consideration, such as push-ups, squats, pilates, burpees, and tuck jumps.
“Our finding that mortality risk appeared to be lowest for those who participated in both types of exercise provides strong support for current recommendations to engage in both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities,” the authors wrote. “Older adults would probably benefit from adding weightlifting exercises to their physical activity routines,” they concluded.
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