It seems that when it comes to exercise, everyone tends to focus on doing cardio and weightlifting is left to those just trying to build muscle.
However, if you’re just hitting the treadmill and skipping everything else at the gym, you might be missing a very important part of exercise. Lifting weights is good for more than just getting your body in shape: A recent study from Penn State College of Medicine found that lifting weights as you age reduces your risk of death by 46 percent.
The study looked at people 65 and older and tracked their exercise habits for 15 years. Only 10 percent of the participants participated in strength training, but those who did were least likely to die during the study. Specifically, those who did weight training had 41 percent lower odds of cardiac death and 19 percent lower odds of dying from cancer.
Regular exercise is associated with prevention of early death, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers, but weight training specifically has been linked to benefits of strength, muscle mass, and physical function, as well as to improvements in chronic conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, low back pain, and obesity.
If you’re not already engaging in strength training, has there ever been a more compelling reason to start?