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When you think of strength training, the first thing that might come to mind is people with six-pack abs feverishly pumping iron. But building muscle mass isn’t just for looks. It might just help you live a long life. There are multiple benefits of lifting weights at any age.

The Best Exercise?

Research suggests strength training might help your longevity. It might also help ensure your body continues to function as it should well into old age. Lifting weights through strength training is great for maintaining your muscle health. However, it might also help keep your bones strong as you get older.1

As we age, the amount of bone tissue we lose tends to outpace the amount of new bone tissue our bodies create. This is especially the case for people who don’t get a lot of exercise, as well as women who have gone through menopause.2

Experts believe strength training is the best way to maintain strong and healthy bones.

Strength Training | LCR HealthBuilding muscle mass and strengthening bones can help make sure your “golden years” are happy and healthy ones.3 When you get into middle age and beyond, being as strong as possible will help ensure you can continue to perform your everyday tasks and stay active. If you don’t exercise regularly, you will run the risk of becoming weaker, and unable to take care of yourself.4

People between the ages of 30 and 35 will usually lose about a quarter of their muscle strength by the time they reach 70. They’ll lose as much as half of their strength by the time they hit 90 years of age. Walking, or light jogging, might not be enough to prevent muscle loss. Strength training exercise, on the other hand, could help you maintain your body’s functionality.5

But aerobic exercise is still a vitally important part of any fitness program. A combination of the two can help keep your bones strong and healthy for years to come. Strength training is especially beneficial to some of the bones that are at the highest risk of fracturing during old age. These include the ribs, hips, wrists, and spine vertebrae. Strength training exercises that focus on power and balance can help your stability. This, in turn, can help reduce the chances of suffering a potentially serious fall.6

The Critical Link Between Fat, Muscle, and Longevity

There is also evidence that building muscle mass, through exercise in itself, can help improve your longevity. Researchers in one study found that the ratio of fat to muscle does a better job of indicating mortality risk than body mass index, or BMI.7

But according to the authors of the study, BMI is misleading because it includes both fat and muscle. The researchers analyzed data from a group of more than 3,600 people. This included men 55 and older and women 65 and older. The researchers found that the people who had more muscle mass were at a lower risk of dying than those who had less muscle mass.8

Other Benefits of Strength Training

Strength Training | LCR HealthIn addition to helping maintain your muscle mass, strength training can also help boost your energy. It also keeps your metabolic rate at a healthy level while you’re resting. The more mass you accumulate through strength training, the more your body can use calories for fuel, rather than storing them as fat.9

Evidence also suggests strength training can help keep your heart healthy for years down the line.10

One study showed that strength training helps keep inflammation at bay, which can help your ticker stay in tip-top shape.

Another study involving overweight women showed that regular strength training (two times a week) boosted their heart health.11

Even though strength training can deliver substantial benefits, you should never rush into this or any other type of exercise routine. Remember that you don’t have to immediately start lifting weights for two hours at a time. Start gradually, to help your body get accustomed to the movements.12

The Bottom Line

There is ample evidence that strength training will not only keep your muscles strong and healthy for years to come, but also help boost your energy levels. Again, though, it’s critically important to stay safe. Never start any sort of exercise regimen without having a detailed discussion with your doctor first.

Learn More:
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The Connection Between Stem Cells and Heart Health
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DisclosureThe LCRHealth team creates these articles as a way to provide you with the latest information on health and nutrition. Unfortunately, we cannot make specific product recommendations for our website visitors, such as “Active PK” or “UltimateH2.” Please consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best products for you.