Exercises that build strength can help you live longer.

Although there is plenty of evidence to support the effects of physical activity and aerobic exercise, there isn’t quite as much evidence to support the benefits of strength training.

One explanation for this may be that weight training standards are newer than aerobic exercise guidelines. In fact, it wasn’t until 2007 that the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association issued a joint recommendation proposing that all adults workout at least twice a week.

“This isn’t to say that people haven’t been practicing strength training as exercise for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently that it was formalized in this way as a recommendation,” said Jennifer L. Kraschnewski, co-author of the new report.

Kraschnewski and her colleagues looked at results from the National Health Interview Survey from 1997 to 2001. (NHIA). More than 30,000 senior citizens took part in the poll. Just about ten percent of them said they did physical training at least twice a week.

The researchers then compared this information to death certificates from the year 2011. Nearly a third of the survey respondents died during the study time.

Physical exercise, on the other hand, was associated with a 41% lower risk of coronary mortality and a 19% lower risk of cancer death as compared to someone who did not.

And better, they had a 46 percent lower chance of dying from any cause.

Strength training sessions, in particular, proved to have a far greater mortality advantage than physical activity alone.

Power training does a lot more than boost muscle strength and body function, according to this report.

“We need to find more opportunities to help people get involved in strength training so that we can raise the proportion of our older adults who participate in these programs from just under 10% to a significantly higher percentage,” Kraschnewski added.

Pushups, squats, lunges, and crunches are examples of strength training exercises that don’t require any support.

SOURCE: Strength training helps older adults live longer. News Release. PennState University

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