August 21, 2022
New Study: Adding Strength Training to Your Cardio Can Extend Your Life
When it comes to exercise, most of the guidance for general health is to make sure you’re getting enough cardio. The recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week, but they also mention that strength training should be done twice a week.
A new study shows that regularly doing both does in fact help with longevity.
Centers Health Care has a look at the study from The British Journal of Sports Medicine and its fitness recommendations based on the conclusions.
Cardio and Strength Training Is Best
Of the approximately 400,000 people in the study, 60% said that they did aerobic (cardio) exercise regularly, compared to just 23% who did one or two strength-training sessions per week.
The study found that those who did one hour of cardio per week had a 15% lower mortality risk; that number went to 27% for those who did three hours per week.
But adding one or two strength-training sessions per week (along with the regular cardio) dropped the mortality risk by 40%. Researchers say around 30 to 60 minutes per week of strength training is the sweet spot.
Muscle strength is required to live an independent lifestyle, and it also helps with balance, which can prevent falls. We also naturally lose muscle mass as we age, so doing strength training helps counteract that issue.
Regardless of Fitness Level, Just Be Sure to Exercise
One of the authors of the study put it quite bluntly. They said that going from a sedentary lifestyle to having a regular workout schedule is similar to the difference of smoking vs. not smoking. So even if you aren’t reaching the goals listed above, any exercise is better than none. If you’re not active, it’s advised that you talk to your doctor before starting a fitness regimen.