While aerobic exercise has long taken over exercise guidelines, researchers are finding that bicep curls and bench presses can be equally beneficial for health and longevity.

Strength Training – Exercise that increases muscle strength By making the muscles work with weight or force (such as gravity) – added in In the year 2010 international recommendations on healthy physical activity.

In the near future A meta-analysis Combining 16 studies and more than 1.5 million subjects, muscle-strengthening activities are associated with a 20 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, lung cancer, and all-cause mortality.

Daniel J., a researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and author of a major Research Effects of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise on mortality. Some muscle gain It also improves physical fitness and bone mineral density and reduces the risk of muscle injuries.

Running, swimming, playing soccer and other aerobic sports b Cardiovascular system – our heart and blood vessels – but they don’t contribute much to overall muscle mass and strength.

Perhaps most importantly for health, studies have shown that strength training improves the body’s response to insulin and therefore allows for better control of blood sugar levels after meals – which means less risk of diabetes or insulin resistance, conditions that can damage the heart, and Cardiovascular system By thickening the heart wall and forming blood vessels.

as well, Emerging evidence Contracting skeletal muscles produce myokines, which are Small strings of amino acids McDonough says that between muscles and the rest of the body helps regulate various metabolic processes that contribute to better cardiometabolic health. German researchers As he reported last spring, “we can harness this cross-talk and improve health by stimulating skeletal muscle in some way.

Because aging and inactivity decrease muscle mass, resistance training is even more important for older people because it helps reduce age-related loss of muscle mass, McDonough says. Reducing muscle loss with aging is critical to maintaining independence and helping seniors stay active. This also reduces the risk of chronic disease from injury and inactivity.

Strength training has positive effects on brain health and function, possibly reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Professionals Tell them.

Michael Valenzuela is a researcher at the University of New South Wales and one of the leaders of a study that looked at the effects of exercise on cognitive function and brain structure in 100 subjects with mild cognitive impairment. He found that strength training targeted areas of the brain, particularly the hippocampus, commonly associated with Alzheimer’s.

This strength training can play an important role in preventing the disease, says Valenzuela. “We also found that these changes were associated with better overall cognitive performance in those older adults who did the training, so it wasn’t just a chance finding,” he said.

A 2022 study According to the JAMA Network Open Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging, low muscle mass is associated with future rapid cognitive decline in adults at least 65 years of age. The researchers theorized that increased muscle mass could lead to increased exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness, which would lead to more blood flow to the brain.

So how much strength training is enough?

Federal Physical activity guidelines for Americans He recommends two or more strength training sessions per week. Ideally, the sessions should include four to six different exercises that use as many muscle groups as possible (legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms). Complete 10 to 12 repetitions for each exercise two to three times.

“1-3 hours of moderate exercise per week – brisk walking and/or vigorous aerobic exercise [high intensity interval training] Training—and strength training 1-2 times a week—significantly reduced the risk of all-cause mortality,” says McDonough.

Most people should be able to fit in 60 minutes of aerobic exercise a week, regardless of whether it’s necessary to go to the bus or the store, McDonough says. And the two strength training sessions don’t have to be in the gym, he adds. They can be with some form of resistance, such as weights, hand weights, resistance bands, or water bottles or cans from the cupboard or grocery bags.

So cardio or weights or both? If you want to live longer, doing both is your best bet, experts say.

“We consistently found that the greatest health benefits, whether it was an improvement in the risk of death or chronic disease or risk factors such as blood pressure or cholesterol, were seen among people who did both types of physical activity, rather than one or the other,” he said. Angelique Brelentin, assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University and co-author of the article Recent review article “Aerobic or Muscle-Strengthening Exercise: Which Is Better for Health?” It has a title.

The review found that while aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise independently reduced the risk of all-cause mortality, cardio and weight training had the greatest benefit, with an estimated 40 percent reduction in all-cause mortality and a 50 percent reduction. Cardiovascular disease mortality risk.

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