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For Whom the Barbell Tolls: Add Years to Your Life With Strength Training

Want to live longer? Looks like you’ll have to weight for it.

See what we did there?

Apparently the fountain of youth does exist, but not in liquid form. Rather it’s found in lifts and repetitions.

Study after study has shown that the more muscle you’ve got, the better your physical fitness and bone mineral density and lower your risk of injury. Greater lean muscle mass also correlates with:

  • better weight management;

  • enhanced quality of life;

  • improved management of chronic conditions;

  • positive effects on sleep quality;

  • better posture; and

  • sharper thinking skills.

But now there’s evidence that weight-training also adds years to your life!

According to research published in JAMA Network Open, study participants age 65 and older who did strength training exclusively two to six times per week were less likely than those who engaged in the activity at a lower frequency to die during the 10-year span of the study. People who did at least two sessions of strength training in combination with 2.5 hours of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity each week reduced their likelihood of death by 30%.

Get Pumped Up To Pump Some Iron

The push to get folks to add a strength-training regimen to their fitness routine isn’t new.

In fact, since 2018, the US Department of Health and Human Services has recommended that, in addition to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly, American adults spend two or more days a week doing moderately intensive muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups. Much of the justification for this advice is based on the fact that, after age 30, adults tend to lose 3-8% of their muscle mass every 10 years. The rate of loss increases after age 60.

Strength training, by definition, involves the use of opposing force or load to build strength across the body and increase muscle mass. Dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells and cables are great tools for this purpose.

If you’re just getting started in the field of strength-training, here’s a great guide for women. Men, this plan is tailored to you.

And if working with weights isn’t convenient or appealing, other muscle-building activities include:

• Body-weight exercises

• Barre class

• Resistance bands

• Bouldering

• Gymnastics

• Cheerleading

• Wrestling

• Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

• Swimming

• Boxing

• Rowing

• Surfing

• Gardening

Yes, digging in the garden is a great muscle workout!

It’s no secret that eating healthy and staying active is crucial to living longer, but studies now prove that working some weights into the equation is essential too.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of strength training or developing a personalized plan of action? The staff at Etage Athletic Club can steer you in the right direction. Schedule a free consultation with one of our trainers and say hello to health and longevity!



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