IN YOUR PRIME: Adding 30 minutes of this exercise can help you live longer

Weight training decreases blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and provides other health benefits. Bill Lackey/Staff

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Weight training decreases blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and provides other health benefits. Bill Lackey/Staff

We exercise for a multitude of reasons — whether it’s to fit into our pre-pandemic jeans or simply to lead a healthier life.

Adding weight training for 30 to 60 minutes a week can decrease the risk of early death by 10-20%, according to a study recently reviewed in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The correlation between weight training and health outcomes were discovered in a study of men and women aged 18 to 97 years.

The review involved a survey of 16 studies on muscle-strengthening activities and found a 10-20% reduction in the risk of death by all causes among participants. The review further suggested that adding 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise per week resulted in a 40% lower likelihood of premature death, 46% lower likelihood of heart disease and 28% lower chance of dying from cancer.

“The study methods are sound and the findings are important, but not surprising to me. This is great news for people who are active and greater news for those who are inactive.” Dr. Williams Roberts, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, told CNN.

Benefits of strength training

  • Builds strength
  • Burns calories
  • Decreases abdominal fat
  • Lowers risk of falling and injury
  • Improves heart and brain health
  • Helps manages blood sugar levels
  • Promotes mobility and flexibility

Lifting weights decreases blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and improves blood circulation by strengthening the heart and blood vessels. When lifting weights, you also increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels, according to Healthline.

“A combination of 5 to 10 minutes of strength exercise and 30 minutes of walking most days of the week will produce great health benefits across the population” Dr. Roberts added.

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