Lifting weights as you get older appears to decrease your risk of death. In a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers at the University of Iowa followed nearly 100,000 people over ten years. They found that people who lifted weights once or twice a week — without doing any other exercise — had a 9 percent lower risk of dying from any cause except for cancer. People who performed weightlifting 1 to 2 days per week plus regular aerobic exercise, like walking or jogging, had a 40 percent lower risk of death. The effect was even larger for women than men. While this study doesn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship between strength training and longevity, it makes sense that weights are beneficial, as resistance training has been shown to decrease body fat and build muscle, which decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health issues.
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