A meta-analysis of more than half a million people has shown that a truly bare minimum of strength training can confer enormous benefit.
Researchers in Japan discovered that 30-60 minutes per week of muscle strengthening activities such as yoga, lifting weights, or gardening can reduce the risk of death from all causes by 10-20%.
When combined with aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, or swimming, this benefit was seen to rise to the 40 percentiles.
16 studies were looked at in the analysis. They consisted of more than half-a-million healthy adults being monitored for a period of at least twi years. The age range went from 18-97, and the monitoring period from 2-25 years.
All-cause mortality was looked at separately from heart disease and cancer, both of which tended to fall between 10-20%.
Reporting on the findings, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the Guardian noted that muscle strengthening activity doesn’t have to involve grunting over kettle and bar bells, but carrying children long enough, pushing a wheelchair, carrying shopping bags, heavy gardening, doing body weight exercises like pushups, squats, or sit-ups, or working with resistance bands.
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