People who do strength training or aerobic exercise are less likely to die

People who do strength training or aerobic exercise are less likely to die

Regular physical activity has many well-known health benefits, one of which is that it can help us live longer. But what is not yet well defined are the types and duration of exercise that provide us with the most benefits.

In a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found that aerobic or strength training exercise was associated with a lower risk of death during the study period, and regular exercise — one to three hours per week. One to two sessions per week of strength training – lower risk of death.

The switch from a sedentary lifestyle to routine exercise is comparable to “smoking versus smoking cessation,” said Carver Coleman, a data scientist and one of the study’s authors.

The article is the latest evidence of a trend showing the importance of strength exercises for longevity and overall health.

“The study is encouraging because it supports a combination of aerobic and strength training,” said Kenneth Consilga, a geriatrician at the Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved in the study. “This is definitely something I talk about with my patients all the time.”

In the study, the researchers used data from the US National Health Interview Survey, which followed 416,420 US adults recruited between 1997 and 2014.

Participants filled out questionnaires detailing the types of physical activity they did, whether it was moderate or vigorous, as well as the number of strength-training sessions they did per week.

After adjusting for factors such as age, gender, income, education, marital status and whether they had chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer, the researchers found that people who did moderate to vigorous aerobic activity for one hour a week had a 15% lower risk of death. The risk of death was 27% lower for those who spent three hours per week.

But those who also participated in one to two sessions of strength training per week had a lower risk of death – 40% lower than those who didn’t exercise. This was roughly the difference between a non-smoker and someone who smoked half a pack of cigarettes a day.

The relationship between strength training and longevity is not well understood

Experts say it has been difficult to study the relationship between strength training and longevity because so few people exercise it regularly. Even in the latest study, only 24% of participants did strength training consistently (versus 63% who said they did aerobic exercise).

“Even with large groups like the ones we have here, the numbers are still relatively small,” said Arden Pope, an economist at Brigham Young University and one of the research authors.

However, research is starting to catch up. In a recent meta-analysis published in February, also in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers were able to determine the longevity effect of strength training without aerobic activity.

They found that the largest reduction in mortality was associated with 30 to 60 minutes of strength training per week, with a 10% to 20% reduction in the risk of death, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

However, as Haruki Muma, a sports scientist at Tohoku University and one of the study’s authors, points out, more research needs to be done to find the optimal amount of strength training.

Strength training is important for healthy aging

While more research is needed, experts generally agree that regular strength exercises can have important benefits for healthy aging, including maintaining a high quality of life.

“You’ll be working at a much higher level, and for longer, if you have good muscle strength,” said Bruce Moseley, an orthopedic surgeon at Baylor College of Medicine.

Muscle strength is essential for a range of daily activities, such as getting up from a chair, opening a bowl of jam, carrying groceries indoors, or gardening. “We lose muscle mass gradually as we age,” said Monica Ciolino, a physical therapist at Washington University in St. Louis.

This muscle loss typically begins in your 30s and progresses with age. However, “we can certainly stave off negative effects” with regular strength training, Ciolino said. And it’s not too late to start.

Research shows that even seventies with mobility issues can benefit from a regular strength training program.

Moseley suggests that you stick to a consistent strength-training schedule and slow it down to avoid overuse injuries.

“Keep the pace at a light and easy level at first,” he said. “Once your body starts to adapt, you can start to bloat.”

If you’re still not sure about some of the exercises, he recommends seeking expert advice at a fitness center or consulting a personal trainer. The important thing is to start and create a habit, he said. Not only does this help you live longer, but it can also improve your quality of life.

“When I ask people, ‘What does successful aging mean to you?'” Conchilga said. “They say they want to be independent, they want to maintain their roles and quality of life, they want to do the things they want to do.” “It is not necessary to just live as long as possible.

Translated by Luis Roberto M. Gonsalves

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