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Exercise & Fitness
Stronger body, healthier heart?
- By Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
Spending as little as half an hour each week on strength building exercises is linked to a lower risk of premature death from heart disease.
If you’re in the habit of doing a 20- to 30-minute brisk walk or other moderate exercise most days of the week, that’s fantastic. But a lot of people neglect the recommendation in the federal Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to do muscle-strengthening exercises at least two days a week. While the guidelines don’t suggest a specific amount of time to spend on this effort, evidence from a new study suggests that 30 to 60 minutes per week is a good goal.
Published Feb. 28, 2022, in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the study pooled data from 16 earlier studies to explore how different types of exercise might affect longevity and the risk of dying from heart disease or other health conditions. Compared with people who did no strength training, those who did a half-hour to one full hour of muscle-building exercises per week had a 10% to 17% reduction in the risk of early death, the researchers found.
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About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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Strength and Power Training for All Ages
Studies attest that strength training, as well as aerobic exercise, can help you manage and sometimes prevent conditions as varied as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis. It can also protect vitality, make everyday tasks more manageable, and help you maintain a healthy weight. Strength and Power Training for All Ages helps you take strength training to the next level by developing a program that's right for you.
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