Weight training for 30 to 60 minutes a week linked to better health, longer life

An analysis of 16 studies found people who did that much resistance exercise had a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer and 10% to 20% lower risk of early death from all causes.

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A man works on a weight-training machine at a gym.

Combining 30 to 60 minutes of strengthening exercises with any amount of aerobic activity can result in a 40% lower risk of premature death, a 46% lower incidence of heart disease and a 28% lower chance of dying from cancer, researchers found.

AP file

Spending just 30 to 60 minutes a week on muscle-strengthening exercises can not only make you stronger but also likely add years to your life, new research suggests.

Strength-building work has long been recommended by experts as life-enhancing. And there’s a growing body of research suggesting even a little exercise helps fend off disease and increases life spans.

This new analysis of 16 exercise studies found that people who did 30 to 60 minutes of resistance exercises weekly had a lower risk of getting heart disease, diabetes and cancer and a 10% to 20% lower risk of early death from all causes, according to the study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Combining 30 to 60 minutes of strengthening exercises with any amount of aerobic activity can result in a 40% lower risk of premature death, a 46% lower incidence of heart disease and a 28% lower chance of dying from cancer, the researchers found.

The new research analyzed 16 previous studies that pulled data from about 480,000 participants 18 to 98 years old, most of them living in the United States. The results were calculated based on the participants’ own reports of how much activity they took part in.

“Many previous studies showed a favorable influence of muscle-strengthening exercises on noncommunicable diseases and early death risk,” according to study author Haruki Momma, a lecturer at Tohoku University in Japan. “We could expect our findings to some extent because this study was planned to integrate previous findings.”

Read more at USA Today.

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