Research Reveals What A Weightlifting Routine Can Do For Your Longevity

If you've ever thought about giving weightlifting a try, now might be a good time to start. The Mayo Clinic reports numerous benefits that include stronger muscles, increased bone strength, and an increased quality of life — all of which contribute to healthy aging. It's so good for you that the American Heart Association recommends that you should do it at least two days a week.

Now, new evidence coming from the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that lifting weights might even add years to your life. Researchers followed 99,713 adults with an average age of 71 at the beginning of follow-up for almost 10 years. Of those, 52.6% were female and 47.4% were male, and their average body mass index was 27.8. At the end of the study, 28,400 individuals had died. Participants answered questionnaires about their behaviors, including their personal health history, how much they exercised, and their alcohol and tobacco use.

Lifting weight has numerous benefits

The study showed that participants who lifted weights just once or twice per week had a lower risk of dying from any cause except cancer, between 9% and 22%. They also found that the association was stronger with women. But that's not all they discovered — those who took part in some kind of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity once or twice a week as well as lifting weights improved their chances of a longer life by a whopping 41%.

The authors acknowledged that the study was observational, pointing out that while the findings don't prove that weightlifting can reduce the risk of death, it does seem to show an apparent link. Additionally, they said that strength training can result in more lean mass and improved muscle function, both of which are associated with a lower risk of death. Researchers also noted that more research was needed to gain a better understanding of the relationship between weightlifting and longevity. As Mayo Clinic suggests, always talk with your doctor if you are just beginning any kind of exercise program.