Strength training may be as important as aerobic exercise for a longer life


While aerobic exercise has long taken the lead in physical activity guidelines, researchers have found that biceps curls and bench presses may be equally important to health and longevity. I’m here.

strength training – Exercises that increase muscle strength by making muscles work against a weight or force (such as gravity) — added to 2010 Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health.

recently meta-analysis Combining data from 16 studies and more than 1.5 million subjects, muscle-strengthening activity was associated with almost a 20% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, lung cancer, and all-cause mortality. was

Daniel J. McDonagh, a researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and co-author of the large paper, said: study This study investigated the effects of aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening exercise on mortality. add muscle It also improves strength and bone density and reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

running, swimming, soccer, and other aerobic exercises cardiovascular system —our heart and blood vessels—but they don’t really affect overall muscle mass or strength.

Perhaps most importantly for health, research has found that strength training improves the body’s response to insulin, resulting in better postprandial glycemic control. cardiovascular system It thickens the heart wall and increases the formation of arterial plaque.

again, new evidence We show that contraction of skeletal muscle produces myokines. small string of amino acids It exists between muscles and the rest of the body and helps regulate various metabolic processes that help improve cardio-metabolic health. German researcher Last spring, we reported that “by stimulating skeletal muscles in some way, we can take advantage of this crosstalk to improve health.”

Aging and inactivity tend to reduce muscle mass, so resistance training is even more important for older adults because it helps slow the natural loss of muscle mass that comes with age. This is essential for maintaining independence and keeping older people active. This also reduces the risk of chronic illness from disability and inactivity.

Strength training appears to have positive effects on brain health and function, possibly lowering the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Expert say.

Michael Valenzuela is a researcher at the University of New South Wales and one of the leaders of a study examining the effects of resistance exercise on cognitive function and brain structure in 100 subjects with mild cognitive impairment. He found that strength training appeared to protect areas of the brain normally targeted by Alzheimer’s disease, particularly the hippocampus.

That’s why strength training can help prevent disease, says Valenzuela. “We also found that these changes improved general cognitive performance in older adults who received the training, so it wasn’t just an accidental finding,” he says.

Ah Research in 2022 The JAMA Network Open, based on a Canadian longitudinal study of aging, found that low muscle mass was associated with faster future cognitive decline in adults at least 65 years of age. Researchers theorized that increased muscle mass improves physical activity and cardiopulmonary function, increasing blood flow to the brain.

So how much strength training is enough?

Commonwealth Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans We recommend at least two strength training sessions per week. Ideally, your session should include 4-6 different exercises that use as many muscle groups as possible (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms). Do 10-12 repetitions 2-3 times for each exercise.

“I’ve found that I only do one to three hours of moderate-intensity exercise a week, like brisk walking and vigorous cardio. [high intensity interval training] Training — Strength training just once or twice a week significantly reduced the risk of death from all causes,” says McDonough.

Given the importance of walking to the bus or to the store, most people should be able to get 60 minutes of cardio per week, says McDonough. And his two sessions of strength training don’t have to be in the gym, he adds. They can have any form of resistance, such as gravity, hand weights, resistance bands, or lifting a water bottle or can from a cupboard, or a grocery bag.

Cardio, weights, or both? Experts say doing both is your best bet if you want to live longer.

“The greatest health benefits, such as reduced risk of death and chronic disease, and improvements in risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol, were seen in people who did both types of exercise, but not one or the other. “We consistently found that the Recent review articles The title is “Aerobic exercise or strength training, which is better for health?”

This review found that aerobic exercise and strength-strengthening exercise independently reduced the risk of death from all causes, but those who did aerobic exercise and weight training had an approximately 40% reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality. , realized the greatest benefits, including a 50% reduction in mortality risk. Risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

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