Strength Training Can Increase Life Expectancy

No one can be certain of adding time to their lives. We all are able to make decisions with our lifestyle that can improve our quality of life and potentially increase our expectancy. We included a research article published a few years ago on this very topic at the end of the blog.

Engaging in proper strength training can have a positive impact on overall health and longevity. Regular strength training offers several benefits that can contribute to an increased life expectancy:

  1. Muscle strength and functional ability: Strength training helps build and maintain muscle mass, which is crucial for maintaining functional ability as we age. Strong muscles can support the body, improve balance, and reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
  2. Bone health: Strength training, particularly weight-bearing exercises, can enhance bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially in postmenopausal women and older adults. Stronger bones contribute to better overall health and longevity.
  3. Metabolic health: Strength training can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also have positive effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and body composition.
  4. Cardiovascular health: Engaging in strength training exercises with higher intensities or incorporating circuit training elements can provide cardiovascular benefits by improving heart health, increasing endurance, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  5. Functional independence: By maintaining strength, balance, and overall fitness, strength training can help individuals maintain their independence and perform daily activities more easily as they age. This can contribute to an improved quality of life and potentially extend life expectancy.

While it’s challenging to quantify the exact increase in life expectancy that can be gained from strength training alone, it is clear that incorporating regular strength training into a well-rounded fitness routine can have numerous long-term health benefits. It’s important to note that other lifestyle factors, such as a balanced diet, regular aerobic exercise, stress management, and avoiding harmful habits like smoking, also play significant roles in overall health and longevity.

“Muscle Strength and Adherence to Aerobic and Resistance Training Programs in Older Adults” (Ruiz et al., 2008): This study investigated the relationship between muscle strength and mortality in older adults. The findings suggested that greater muscle strength was associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality.