The Importance of Strength Training and Longevity.

Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing some diseases, promotes overall good health, and helps you live a longer, healthier life. For some of us, regular physical activity means jogging, walking, or other aerobic exercises.

Yet, the value of strength training is often overlooked. The fact is that by the time you’re 50, and beyond, resistance or strength training is crucial for maintaining your ability to perform regular daily activities and ensuring you can live an independent and active lifestyle.

Sure, aerobic activity is good for heart health, but without strength training, you will become less functional and weaker. It’s crucial to understand that an average person at 30 will have lost nearly a quarter of their muscle strength by 70 and half by the time they turn 90. The following information will explain the importance of strength training in longevity.

What is Strength Training

Strength training is also known as muscular training, resistance training, or weight training. In general, this type of exercise involves any movement that utilizes body weight or equipment such as:
Resistance Bands: Elastic bands that come in varying tensions and lengths used to flex your legs or arms.
Free Weights: Dumbbells and barbells.
Vests and Ankle Cuffs: Available in different weights.
Body Weight Exercises: Movements that leverage your body weight to create gravity resistance.

Why is Strength Training Important in Longevity?

To be honest, strength training is non-negotiable for strength training. This goes for everyone, and we’ll tell you what happens to your body’s tissue if it’s not focused on and managed.

As you age, skeletal muscle becomes what’s called anabolicly resistant. This is why you see older adults get sarcopenic. Even the world’s best athlete’s structures change, and their muscles get smaller due to a decline in skeletal muscle. So, lets look at why these two concepts tie so closely together.

Keeps Your Brain Healthy

A national study looked at 970 individuals living in senior homes with no signs of cognitive decline. These people were put through various strength tests to measure their upper and lower bodies. Within the next three and a half years, 15 percent of these people had developed Alzheimer’s disease. Their ranking on the strength scale strongly determined the risk for each person. A person’s risk decreased by 43 percent for every 1 point of added muscle strength.

Better Prepares You to Fight Cancer

One study found that breast cancer patients who had higher muscle mass had greater chances of surviving the disease than patients with less muscle mass. Much the same, a study of men who had undergone treatment for prostate cancer also found that those with low muscle mass were more likely to see the cancer recur or succumb to the illness.

It Makes You Happy

One study followed 3,000 adults between the ages of 54 and 89 and discovered that a strong grip is inversely related to depression.

Another study published in Pubmed found that resistance training is linked to significant improvements in depression symptoms, including a feeling of worthlessness, loss of interest in life, and low mood. The study found that the most significant improvements for strength training on mood were among those with mild-to-moderate depression when compared to others without those scores. These researchers suggested that strength training may be one of the most effective things for people with greater depressive symptoms.

Supports Cognitive Function

But the benefits of strength training don’t stop with mood-boosting. It’s also been found that the body’s muscles release specific proteins when they are worked hard that help support cognitive function. Cognitive function refers to your memory, mobility, reasoning and logic, attention and perspective, and processing.

When cognitive brain functions are properly supported, your perception of life is elevated, and you tend to see the world in a more positive light.

Reduces Your Risk of Developing Certain Diseases

Many common diseases are completely preventable through good diet and exercise. However, it’s also been found that weight training is especially beneficial. For example, strength training can reduce your risk of future weight gain and lower your risk of developing high blood pressure.

Moreover, some studies have found that the greater a person’s muscle strength, the lower their chance of developing metabolic syndrome. Remember, this is a cluster of conditions, including high blood sugar, excess abdominal fat, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Each of these conditions puts you at a higher risk of developing heart disease. However, the more muscle mass, the lower the levels of inflammation, which can also help lower your risk of heart disease.

Another debilitating condition it can protect against is diabetes. It was found that higher levels of muscle mass are associated with more effective insulin sensitivity, which can lower your risk of developing prediabetes or diabetes.

How Much Do You Need?

Now that you see just how important strength training is for your health and longevity, you’re probably wondering how much you need. The truth is that as a beginner in strength training, you can begin with as little as a 20-minute routine. And there’s no need to strain, grunt, or sweat like a professional bodybuilder.

The main key is developing a comprehensive program, consistency, and using good form to perform each exercise. In just four to eight weeks, you will have noticeable strength gains. And most people find that once they start seeing results from strength training, they want to keep going.

Another debilitating condition it can protect against is diabetes. It was found that higher levels of muscle mass are associated with more effective insulin sensitivity, which can lower your risk of developing prediabetes or diabetes.

Getting Started

When you first decide to start strength training, it’s vital that you go slow, so you do not get injured. It’s also important to speak with your doctor about your new exercise plan and explain what level of exercise you hope to achieve. And don’t forget that you may experience mild to moderate soreness between workouts; this is normal. Be sure to take a break if the pain lasts more than just a few days.

Ultimately, deciding to engage in strength training is one of the best things you can do for your body and longevity. Just lifting weights or using resistance bands a few times per week will provide you with more benefits than if you were to jog or run. So, decide what type of strength training works for you and get moving – your longevity depends on it!

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