Strength Training May Extend Life

Most of our blogs on exercise focus on topics like walking, biking and yoga. They are exercises that help your core, balance, muscles, lungs and heart. They offer massive health benefits while being easy on the body.

We rarely talk about the importance of lifting weights. However, building muscle mass and gaining strength through weightlifting can improve your balance and walking speed by 48 percent. And, when it comes to mortality, it’s more beneficial than aerobic exercise.

People who do vigorous aerobic exercise once a week are 15 percent less likely to die than people who don’t exercise. People who lift weights once a week are 40 percent less likely to die than non-exercisers. They also have a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.

We start to lose muscle in our 30s, and it grows worse as we age. Building muscle helps us stay independent and maintain our mobility and quality of life, preventing life-threatening injuries and helping us live longer.

Strength training builds bone density. It fights against bone loss and improves bone strength, lowering the risk of a fracture. It can also improve your metabolic health and basal metabolic rate to help you burn more calories throughout the day.    

Another aspect of metabolic health that strength training aids is insulin sensitivity. It can lower blood pressure and aid cholesterol levels and help blood sugar concerns.

All aspects of health are interconnected. While we frequently talk about the importance of simply adding more movement into your day, paying attention to all types of exercise is essential. Only exercising in one way does a disservice to your body. Obviously, any exercise is better than being sedentary. But, it’s by having a mix of different forms of activity that you can keep your body performing its best.

Even within strength training, different lifts help specific parts of your body. That can aid various aspects of your health. You might want to help your back or aid your joints. Those goals can be achieved through different weightlifting activities.  

Remember, if you haven’t done a type of exercise before, speak to your doctor before trying it. It’s essential to discuss your health and your needs before making changes to your routine. Someone who knows your history can tell you the best way to get started. They can give you exercises that would benefit your needs and ensure you don’t injure yourself while working toward your healthy goals!  

Banner image: Kampus Production via Pexels

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