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Strength training might lengthen life
- By Maureen Salamon, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
Research we’re watching
Adding strength training to aerobic exercise might help you live longer, a new study in older adults suggests.
The observational study, published online Oct. 17, 2022, by JAMA Network Open, analyzed physical activity reported by more than 115,000 people ages 65 and older taking part in the National Health Interview Survey. Researchers compared participants’ exercise data with deaths over a period averaging nearly eight years. No matter how much aerobic exercise they did, participants who did strength training at least twice a week had a lower risk of dying (regardless of cause) during the study period than those who did less strength training. When strength training twice weekly or more was added to 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise, the risk of dying during the study period dropped by 30%.
Strength training includes such activities as lifting weights, using resistance bands, doing sit-ups or push-ups, and even many common household chores, such as digging while gardening, according to the CDC.
Image: © Westend61/Getty Images
About the Author
Maureen Salamon, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
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