Out of aerobic and strength training, which one is more for increasing your life span? Read on what a new study says.
American guidelines on physical activities for older adults recommend at least two days of strength training and 2½ hours of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity every week. Still, many people give less priority to muscle strengthening, relying more on aerobic exercises because of their cardiovascular benefits.
New Study on Effects of Aerobic & Strength Training on Life Span
A new study at the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that it’s a big mistake. According to this study, adults over 65 who did strength training two to six times a week in addition to aerobic activities lived longer as compared to those who did strength training less than two times a week.
It was observed that each type of physical activity was independently linked to a lesser risk of all-cause mortality in older adults.
“Those who met the muscle-strengthening guideline only (versus neither) had (a) 10% lower risk of mortality, those who met the aerobic guideline only had 24% lower risk of mortality, and those who met both guidelines had 30% lower risk.”
The study was published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
According to the study published, the results of the study are applicable to all ages groups, even the most elderly. The study reported individuals who were 85 and older and who met both the aerobic and muscle-strengthening guidelines had a 28% lower risk of dying from any cause as compared to people above 85 who met neither of the guidelines.
Fitness Buffhq suggests: “This finding suggests that aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity is valuable throughout the lifespan.”
Strength training and aerobic exercise are helpful at any age.
The study analyzed the data on leisure and other physical activity collected by the National Health Interview Survey, an ongoing investigation of American health done by the CDC. Information & the data on strength training and aerobic activity by age group were then compared with deaths over an average of eight years.
The study was controlled for demographics and marital status, body mass index, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension & stroke, history of smoking or alcohol consumption, and presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and cancer.
Considering only the data on strength training, the study reported adults who did two to three sessions or four to six sessions of muscle strengthening exercise a week had a lower risk of death for any reason than adults who did strength training less than twice a week.
Doing more wasn’t beneficial — the study reported 7 to 28 sessions of strength training a week did not provide additional protection.
Gym vs Home Training
According to the CDC, you don’t need to go to a gym to strengthen your muscles. You can work with weights and resistance bands at home. For instance, you can use your body weight for resistance, such as push-ups and squats. Other examples are digging or shoveling in the garden. Even “carrying groceries or lifting canned goods work as a muscle-strengthening activity,” Fitness Buffhq says.
The aim should be to work all the major muscle groups of your body: chest, arms, shoulders, back, core, hips, and legs.
Considering the data only on aerobic exercise, the study reported that doing 10 to 300 minutes a week was linked to a lower risk of death from any cause than doing less than ten minutes a week.
Aerobic activity can include brisk walking, jogging, bike riding, swimming, dancing, water exercises, hiking, and pushing a lawn mower, to name a few.
VIDEO: Try this 10-minute body-weight workout
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me age is just a number!”