Fitness: How doing 60 minutes of weight training per week could extend life expectancy

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Weight training is renowned for its numerous health benefits, as experts have found strengthening your muscles not only builds stronger bones and better brain health, but also helps lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Findings from a new research study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that people who take part in 30-60 minutes resistance training per week lowered their risk of early death from all causes by 10 to 20 percent.

The researchers also noted that combining resistance training with cardiovascular activities enhanced the benefit, providing a 40 percent lower risk of premature death, a 46 percent lower incidence of heart disease and a 28 percent lower chance of dying from cancer.

Lecturer of medicine and science in sports and exercise at Tohoku University in Japan Haruki Momma, said: “Many previous studies showed a favourable influence of muscle-strengthening exercises on noncommunicable diseases and early death risk.

“We could expect our findings to some extent because this study was planned to integrate previous findings.”

The research is also the first to examine long-term links between muscle strengthening activities and diabetes risk.

And while Dr. William Roberts, a professor in the department of family medicine and community health at the University of Minnesota, wan’t involved in the study, he agreed that the findings were more than accurate.

“60 minutes per week sticks out as a doable amount for most people and makes me feel good about the five to 15 minutes of strength exercises I do every morning,” he said.

“The findings are great news for people who are active and greater news for those who are inactive as they can improve their health with a small time investment.

“That said, people should start slow and build slowly to avoid the pain of too much activity too soon.”

He went on to compare the benefit from mixing aerobics with strengthening exercises, suggesting it could be because the two “appear to work together and help each other move toward better outcomes”.

Dr Roberts went on: “A balanced program of strength and aerobic activity is probably best and probably more closely mimics the activities of our ancestors, which helped determine our current gene sets.”

Strength training may be quite overwhelming to those who hadn’t tried it before.

The following four points are a good starting point for beginners:

Hip-dominant (deadlifts, hinges, and swings)

Knee-dominant (squats and lunges)

Pushing movements (pushups, dips, and presses)

Pulling movements (rows and pull-ups)

Aerobic exercises could include the following:



Running or jogging



People partaking in all these kinds of activities weekly could decrease their risk of disease and add years to their lives.

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