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Muscle Strengthening Found To Lower Risk Of Death From All Causes

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Do you incorporate practices into your daily or weekly routine for the benefit those things bring to your health and well-being? 

Take coffee, for instance. Many folks enjoy their daily cup of joe knowing it can improve cognitive functioning and decrease the risk of certain diseases, even lowering the risk of mortality from all causes. 

Or, what about your sleep habits? Do you aim to get a specific number of hours of restful sleep each night for the purpose of improving cardiovascular health, even adding length to your life? 

Those are only a few examples of both foods and practices that, when incorporated into our lives, can improve our health and may even allow us to live longer. 

And, according to the experts, upon analyzing research spanning more than three decades, muscle strengthening can be added to the list of things we can easily incorporate into our lives to add length to our days!

Spoiler alert: adding just 30 minutes of muscle-strengthening activity per week can help you reap this reward!

So, let’s take a look at the benefits of muscle training (strengthening), and then we’ll look at the science and discover some simple, practical ways you can boost your health and lower your overall risk of death.

Benefits Of Muscle Training

Muscle training, or strengthening, exercises offer a wide variety of benefits to your health, so before we dive into the research, let’s quickly explore just a few of those benefits…

1- Improves Bone Density

Studies show strength training to be capable of significantly increasing bone mineral density. 

This is explained by a few things that occur as you increase the strength of your muscles:

  • Weight-bearing exercises done while standing cause gravity to pull downward on the body, slightly stressing bones and muscles, thereby causing them to strengthen. 
  • Each time a muscle contracts throughout exercise, it pulls on the bone where it is attached. This pulling essentially mimics a trauma, causing the cells in the bone to stimulate the production of structural proteins which work to build up and strengthen the bone. 

2- Improves Mental Health

Strength training has been shown to improve symptoms of both depression and anxiety. 

Some believe, as in the case of high-intensity aerobic exercise, that these improvements are linked to a release of endorphins or increased endocannabinoid levels. 

And, according to research findings from the Harvard School of Medicine, “strength training provides an opportunity to overcome obstacles in a controlled predictable environment, increasing mental resilience.” 

3- Raises Basal Metabolic Rate

When you do strength or resistance training, your body requires specific amounts of energy based on how hard you are working. 

Then, your body continues to burn calories at that rate as it returns to a state of rest even after you’ve finished exercising, known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. 

In the case of strength training, after you’ve put in a particularly intense amount of work, this amount is essentially amplified as you then continue to burn calories at this high metabolic rate through recovery. 

Then, as you build lean muscle mass through your efforts, the physical activity that you engage in will require your muscles to burn even more calories as each kilogram of lean muscle mass increases your metabolic rate by upwards to 100 calories per day. 

Mathematically stated: 

  • great efforts put into strength training equal great caloric burn post workout session
  • lean muscle mass built through strength training equals greater calorie burn in your workouts 

4- Helps Maintain A Healthy Weight

Now this may seem obvious after the last point, but those gains in muscle and potential extra calorie burn kick in to aid you as you seek to maintain a healthy body weight.

Not only can you shed pounds with those calorie burn gains, but studies have shown resistance training (one type of muscle strengthening exercise) works to help dieters keep those pounds off, with a weekly commitment to muscle training activity preventing weight gain as well as keeping visceral belly fat at bay. 

5- Controls Blood Sugar

Studies have shown that as you build muscle this also improves the uptake and use of glucose within the muscle. 

Transporters within the cells of the muscle travel to the bloodstream to get glucose and then bring it back to the muscle. When you strengthen the muscle, this makes that process more efficient, bringing more glucose into the muscle thereby lowering blood sugar levels. 

For this reason, people with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to incorporate muscle strengthening exercises into their weekly routine. 

Research, Muscle Strengthening, And A Lowered Risk Of Death

As we just saw above, and as we’ve known for some time, the benefits of exercise are great, but did you know (aside from the title and intro of this article) that this benefit list includes the ability to reduce the risk of death from all causes? 

However, those benefits can seem vague. After all, how much exercise brings these benefits? 

What type of exercise benefits you the most? And, how much benefit are we talking about here? 

Well, a group of scientists at Tohoku University in Japan have recently analyzed multiple international studies, spanning over three decades, to bring us those answers. 

The studies reviewed included research conducted over the course of 2-25 years on adults who were healthy (lacking any major health concerns), with a centralized focus on 16 particular studies from the United States, England, Scotland, Australia, and Japan. 

These studies involved a large number of participants, both men and women, from samples with as few as 4,000 to as many as nearly 480,000 people, including ages ranging from 18-97.

Participants in each study did a variety of physical activities, including aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises. 

And, as the team analyzed the data, one thing stood out: you don’t have to exercise for hours and hours each week to improve your health and reduce your risk of death!

Incorporating just 30-60 minutes per week of muscle strengthening exercises proved to lower the risk of death from all causes, including heart disease and cancer, by 10-20%. 

Even better, when strength training activities were combined each week with aerobic exercise, the risk of death decreased by 40%, the threat of cardiovascular disease dropped by 46%, and the risk of death by cancer reduced by 28%. 

Another bonus? The types of muscle strengthening exercises that will allow you to reap these rewards aren’t only those typically done in a gym setting. 

Muscle strengthening activities are beneficial due to their (positive) impact on your musculoskeletal health. 

And, while those types of activities certainly include lifting weights, using resistance bands, doing push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, and lunges, they also include practical work such as heavy gardening and shoveling.

Furthermore, according to the physical health guidelines in the UK, even yoga, pilates, and tai chi, as well as wheeling a wheelchair, lifting and carrying children, and carrying heavy shopping bags are considered to be worthy muscle strengthening exercises as they work to benefit the musculoskeletal system. 

While there were limitations to the analysis done here, such as limited data, a lack of diversity in the population of participants, and data collected through observation as opposed to clinical trials, there is still much to be gleaned from the information reviewed. 

But, this new analysis of data can serve to add to what we’ve already known concerning a reduced risk of death with muscle strengthening exercise, now giving us precise “doses” or prescriptions for how much time we should spend engaging in such activities to reap optimal rewards. 

And, as we mentioned above, that prescription reads: 30-60 minutes spent weekly doing muscle strengthening exercises to lower the risk of all causes of death (by 10-20%), with added benefits to be reaped when including aerobic exercise alongside your muscle strengthening routine. 

References: 

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FITNESS

Take Your Fitness to the Next Level with This Customized Plan

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Are you looking to take your fitness to the next level, but aren’t sure where to start? One of the best ways to achieve your fitness goals is by following a personalized plan tailored to your specific needs and abilities. By working with a fitness professional to create a customized plan, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your workouts and seeing real results.

A customized fitness plan takes into account your current fitness level, goals, and any limitations you may have. Whether you are a beginner looking to build strength, an athlete training for a specific event, or someone looking to lose weight, a personalized plan can help you reach your goals more effectively and efficiently.

One of the key benefits of following a customized fitness plan is that it is tailored specifically to your needs. This means that every aspect of the plan, from the exercises you do to the number of sets and reps you perform, is chosen with your goals in mind. This level of specificity can help you avoid wasting time on exercises that may not be effective for you and ensure that you are making progress towards your goals.

Additionally, a customized fitness plan can help you stay motivated and accountable. By working with a fitness professional to create a plan, you have someone to check in with regularly and provide feedback and support. This can help you stay on track and push through any challenges or plateaus that may arise.

To create a customized fitness plan, it is important to work with a qualified fitness professional who can assess your current fitness level and help you set realistic goals. They can also provide guidance on the best exercises to include in your plan, as well as advice on nutrition and recovery strategies to support your progress.

Overall, following a customized fitness plan can help you take your fitness to the next level and achieve the results you desire. Whether you are looking to build muscle, improve your endurance, or lose weight, a personalized plan can provide you with the guidance and support you need to reach your goals. So why wait? Take the first step towards reaching your fitness goals by creating a customized plan today.

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FITNESS

Maximize Your Results with the Perfect Fitness Plan for You

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Everyone wants to see results when they commit to a fitness plan, but finding the perfect one for you can be a challenge. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to figure out what will work best for your body and your goals. However, achieving maximum results doesn’t have to be a guessing game. By following a few key steps, you can tailor a fitness plan to perfectly suit your needs and optimize your results.

First and foremost, it’s important to identify your specific fitness goals. Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, increase endurance, or improve flexibility, having a clear objective in mind will help you choose the right exercises and intensity level to achieve those goals. It’s also important to set realistic and achievable expectations for yourself to prevent burnout and frustration.

Once you have established your goals, it’s time to build a comprehensive fitness plan that incorporates a mix of cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Cardio workouts like running, cycling, or swimming can help improve heart health and burn calories, while strength training exercises like weight lifting and bodyweight exercises help build muscle and increase metabolism. Flexibility exercises like yoga or Pilates can improve mobility and prevent injuries.

It’s also important to consider your schedule and lifestyle when creating your fitness plan. If you have a busy schedule, look for shorter, high-intensity workouts that deliver maximum results in a shorter amount of time. If you prefer working out in the morning, find a routine that fits into your morning routine. Consistency is key to seeing results, so choose a plan that you can stick to long-term.

In addition to finding the right mix of exercises, it’s essential to pay attention to your nutrition and recovery. Fueling your body with nutrient-dense foods and staying hydrated will support your workouts and help your body recover faster. Make sure to incorporate rest days into your schedule to allow your muscles to recover and prevent burnout.

Lastly, listen to your body and make adjustments as needed. If a certain exercise or routine isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to try something new. Your fitness plan should be dynamic and adaptable to your changing needs and goals.

By taking the time to create a personalized fitness plan that aligns with your goals, schedule, and lifestyle, you can maximize your results and achieve the body and health you desire. Remember, consistency and dedication are key, so stay committed to your plan and watch as the results start rolling in.

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FITNESS

Unleash Your Full Potential with This Expert-Approved Fitness Plan

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Are you looking to take your fitness journey to the next level and unleash your full potential? Look no further than this expert-approved fitness plan that will help you achieve your goals and push your body to its limits.

Fitness experts agree that a well-rounded fitness plan is essential for maximizing your potential and seeing real results. This plan focuses on a combination of strength training, cardiovascular exercise, flexibility work, and proper nutrition to help you reach your fitness goals.

Strength training is an important component of the plan, as it helps to build muscle, increase metabolism, and improve overall strength and endurance. Incorporating exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses will help you build a strong foundation and push your body to new limits.

Cardiovascular exercise is also crucial for improving heart health, burning calories, and increasing endurance. Incorporating activities such as running, cycling, or swimming into your routine will help you improve your cardiovascular fitness and push yourself to new levels of intensity.

Flexibility work is often overlooked but is essential for preventing injuries, improving mobility, and increasing range of motion. Incorporating stretching exercises into your routine will help you maintain flexibility and improve overall performance.

Proper nutrition is key to fueling your workouts, promoting recovery, and seeing results. Eating a balanced diet rich in lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to perform at its best.

To maximize your potential and see real results, it’s important to stay consistent, set realistic goals, and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. With the right mindset and dedication, you can achieve your fitness goals and unleash your full potential.

So don’t wait any longer – unleash your full potential with this expert-approved fitness plan and take your fitness journey to the next level. With the right combination of strength training, cardiovascular exercise, flexibility work, and proper nutrition, you can achieve your goals and become the best version of yourself.

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