Studies have shown that seniors who lift weights are almost 50% less likely to die in 15 years than those who don’t.
By Dawn Flemming
We’ve written plenty of articles on the benefits of exercise and lifting weights. But if there is one major underlying theme about the benefits of lifting weights it’s that by keeping people healthy it keeps them younger and helps them live longer.
According to a study from Penn State College of Medicine, seniors aged 65 and up are 46% less likely to die over the span of 15 years if they lift weights regularly.
Men’s Health summarizes the study as follows:
Researchers surveyed people age 65 or older about their exercise habits and then tracked them for 15 years. Nearly a third of the study participants died during that period.
Less than 10 percent of the subjects strength trained, but those select few were 46 percent less likely to die during the study than everyone else.
It may be said that people who lift weights are usually the healthier ones but the nature of the study seems to dismiss this as all factors were taken into account. Men’s Health again writes:
Sure, you could say that older folks who lift must be in better health to begin with. But even after adjusting for BMI, chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, and habits like total physical activity, drinking, and smoking, lifting was linked to a 19 percent reduced risk of death.
Strength training can keep you active and independent in your golden years, says study author Jennifer Kraschnewski, M.D. Not only does it strengthen your muscles, resulting in better stamina and balance, but it also increases your bone density.
Weight training is the best way to train in order to lose fat compared to cardio. Fat is associated with higher rates of inflammation in the body, something which is at the root of many autoimmune illnesses. Weight lifting can also prevent general bone loss and osteoporosis.
As you age, you are more susceptible to injury. It is for this reason that you should consult with a specialist on how to weight lift that is right for your age and health.
Dawn Flemming is Director of Business Services at Geriatric In-Home Care in Fresno, California.