When the researchers controlled for cardiorespiratory fitness and aerobic capacity, the association persisted, although it was attenuated somewhat. In a paper published 2016, US investigators found that among a large cohort of adults aged 65 or older, all-cause mortality was significantly lower among individuals who performed regular strength training (13). And, is there an easy way to assess or measure our physical condition? These studies laid the foundation for the hypothesis that men in physically active jobs were at lower risk of heart disease than men in physically inactive jobs. You can go as far back as nineteen fifty three to find studies that support these facts. Although we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic, focusing on body weight and body mass index (BMI) may be misleading. Furthermore, resistance training increases bone mass and mineral density and lowers the risk of osteoporosis which is a global public health problem. Overall, the findings provide compelling rationales for developing interventions and policies to improve muscular strength and reduce excess adiposity to minimize mortality risk. We also know that strength training reduces one of the most common downsides of aging, loss of strength and muscle tissue, a pitfall that ultimately leads to frailty. Maybe not, since the association persisted even after they factored in body fat. Hence, it was proposed that a sedentary lifestyle increased the risk of heart disease. However, substantial evidence suggests that greater aerobic fitness can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and death associated with obesity. Unfortunately, most adults, particularly older adults, as this study showed, don’t strength train. There is evidence that skeletal muscle in many ways acts as an endocrine organ. If they do any exercise at all, they walked at a moderate pace. Another way strength training helps protect against an early death is by helping you stay functional and less prone to injury as you age. To examine how strength training would impact mortality, the researchers looked at data from the National Health Interview Survey collected between 1997 and 2001 and linked it to death certificate data of more than 30,000 people aged 65 of older through 2011. However, just like other cohort studies, this study has limited ability to determine cause and effect. Could this explain the association? In 1953, British researchers discovered that drivers of London’s double-decker buses were more likely to suffer a deadly heart attack than the more physically active conductors (1). Over a median follow-up of four years, low grip strength was associated with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, non-cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Required fields are marked *. You won’t get the results you’re looking for unless you make strength training a regular part of your life. Data from 403.199 participants in the UK Biobank study were used in the analysis. Obviously, randomized trials on the effects of strength training on mortality are difficult to perform. Reprinted from THE LONGEVITY DIET by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Overall, greater grip strength was associated with an 8 percent lower risk of mortality. 2009 May;18(5):1468-76. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-1075. Another interesting observation – a 2009 study showed a link between muscle strength and lower death rates due to cancer in men. Indeed, aerobic exercise is strongly linked with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, the most common cause of death in Western countries. Experts now realize just how important toning exercises are to your overall health and longevity. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. There’s more good news. Science Daily. Research shows as little as 16 weeks of strength training improves markers of insulin sensitivity. For women, muscle loss accelerates after menopause, but the process actually begins after the age of 30. There is overwhelming evidence that muscular strength and strength training are associated with several health benefits and increased life expectancy. From a health perspective, this is the most dangerous form since it’s linked with a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Strength training also improves blood sugar control in diabetics. This may reduce the risk of injuries from falls which often provide serious health threats to elderly individuals. It is usually performed by a Jamar hydraulic dynamometer which can measure isometric grip force with excellent reliability and reproducibility (6). The average 30-year-old will lose about a quarter of his or her muscle strength by age 70 and half of it by age 90. Visceral fat is a marker for poor metabolic health and a higher risk of health problems. Of course, there is data showing a strong association between excess adiposity and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and early mortality (9). Hence, myokines may contribute to exercise-induced protection against several chronic diseases (15). Learn how your comment data is processed. All people (athletes and non-athletes) need to train their physical qualities to live with quality and independently. Eh, not so much. Journal of Aging Research. Hence, older adults who perform strength training not only improve their physical condition, but their survival rate is improved as well. The Prospective Urban-Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study is a large, longitudinal population study done in 17 countries of varying incomes and sociocultural settings. 2009 Oct-Dec;9(4):186-97. Don’t forget, strength training also preserves the health of your bones, as long as you’re lifting at 80% of your one-rep max or greater. Resistance training can counteract the age-related decline in muscle mass and strength (sarcopenia) which is characterized by a decrease in contractile protein and excessive intra-an extracellular lipid accumulation (14). The authors of this highly interesting paper make three important conclusions: The association between grip strength and mortality does not provide proof that strength training improves health and longevity. However, several questions remain. Can a Power Packed 10-Minute Short Workout Equal a 45 Minute One. Low grip strength was a stronger predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality than systolic blood pressure. If you’re strength training regularly, keep it up, if you aren’t, why not? We constantly hear about the growing problem of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome – that’s because around 30% of the population has some degree of insulin resistance. There would be a high risk of crossover between the groups. This review showed muscle strength in men was inversely related to mortality. A study published in the British Medical Journal that looked at strength training in men showed a similar association. Their conclusion: “Muscular strength seems to add to the protective effect of cardiorespiratory fitness against the risk of death in men.”. The Fountain of Youth is Made of Iron - the Link Between Strength and Longevity. Strength training may also reduce insulin resistance and improve blood pressure and blood lipids. Aim for 3 – 5 training days per week for optimal growth. The mortality risk was highest for men and women with the lowest grip strength and the highest obesity measures. Fourteen epidemiological studies fulfilled the study criteria, and all reported that an increased level of muscular strength was significantly associated with lower all-cause mortality. Is Strength Training Associated With Mortality Benefits? If It Doesn't Challenge You It Doesn't Change You. In contrast, adiposity measures had an inconstant association with mortality, although severe obesity (BMI>35) and abdominal obesity were strong predictors of mortality, independent of grip strength. There may be several reasons why strength training and grip strength are associated with longevity.