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Aerobic activities and weight training have health benefits in and of themselves, but combining them can have an even greater impact when it comes to preventing disease and the risk of early death.
People who lifted weights once or twice a week, in addition to the recommended amount of aerobic activity, had a 41% lower risk of dying early, according to the study Published Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The research team based its findings on the self-reports and health information of nearly 100,000 men and women who participated in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, which began in 1998 and followed participants through 2016. Participants answered questionnaires in 2006 about their exercise habits during Last year, the authors of this latest study examined whether these participants had developed cancer or died by 2016.
Older adults who did weight training without any aerobic activity reduced their risk of early death from any cause by up to 22%, a percentage based on how many times they lifted weights in a week—using weights once or twice a week was associated with a lower risk 14%, and the benefit increases as a person lifts weights.
Those who did aerobic exercise reduced their risk by up to 34%, compared to participants who did no weightlifting or aerobic exercise. But the lowest risk — 41% to 47% — was among those who met the recommended weekly amounts of aerobic activity (see below for guidance) and lifted weights once or twice a week, compared with those who were not. The authors did not find a lower risk of death from cancer.
The researchers found that participants’ education, smoking status, body mass index, race, and ethnicity did not influence the results, but gender did – and the associations were more significant among women.
“The results in this study are predictable, but it is important that the authors present the expected results as data in older adults,” said Haruki Muma, MD, lecturer in the Department of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise at Tohoku University, Japan. By email. Momma was not involved in the study.
“This is one of the most important points of this study,” Moma added. “Previous studies on older adults are limited.”
The results support the combined benefits of muscle-strengthening activities through weight training along with aerobic activity, in amounts roughly in line with current physical activity guidelines, the researchers said.
The World Health Organization Older adults (ages 65 and older) are recommended to get at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Aerobic activities include walking, dancing, running, jogging, cycling and swimming.
Muscle-strengthening exercises should be performed at least twice weekly if possible, as directed. This can help prevent falls and related injuries, as well as deterioration in bone health and ability.
Weight lifting exercises You can do this for 30 to 60 minutes including deadlifts, overhead dumbbell press and dumbbell lateral raises, which involve using your back and shoulder muscles to lift light dumbbells so that your arms and body form a T-shape.
Important note: If you feel pain while exercising, stop immediately. Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
The authors had no information about the specific weight training or aerobic exercise that the participants performed.
“As stated by the authors, there is no information on training intensity, training volume, and volume (sets and repetitions),” Moma said. By email. Therefore, the optimal prescription for regular muscle-strengthening exercises to prevent mortality remains unclear. However, this limitation is not limited to this study. Studies on the epidemiology of muscle-strengthening exercises are susceptible to this limitation.”
But researchers have some ideas about how exercise might help prevent disease or early death.
Weight training can improve body composition or lean muscle mass, which has been Previously linked With greater protection against premature death from any cause and from cardiovascular disease.
Getting more lean muscle and reducing body fat can help with balance, posture, and regulation of cholesterol levels, Dr. Nika Goldberg told CNN in March. Goldberg, MD, medical director of Atria New York and associate professor of medicine at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, was not involved in the study.
“We know that individuals who are obese are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, glucose intolerance and some types of cancer, so improving this (health) status is beneficial,” Goldberg said. “People who participate in regular activity … may also have a healthy outlook and other healthy lifestyles.”
Dr. William Roberts, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, told CNN in March that the increased benefit of combining both exercises may be because the two work together to improve health. He added that the balanced system closely mimics the way of life of our ancestors.
In addition, the muscle helps the functions of the endocrine and paracrine systems, the authors – responsible for this, said hormones And the cellular connection, Straight. The researchers added that weight training can also take place in social settings, and having social bonds has been linked to living longer.
The authors note that there may be measurement errors associated with participants remembering their exercise habits, and that the study may not apply to people of color and younger individuals, as most participants were non-Hispanic whites and aged 71 on average.
The authors said that future studies that are more diverse, longer and more interesting over time will be useful for understanding the relationships between these exercises and the risk of early death.
But for now, seniors who do either exercise should incorporate the other into their daily lives, Momma said.
“Some physical activity is better than no activity at all,” Moma said. “As fitness levels and chronic conditions among older adults vary by[the individual]please be as physically active as your abilities and circumstances allow.”