In 1997 researchers from Penn State College of Medicine began a study on the exercise habits of older people aged 65 and above. Over the study’s 15-year duration, nearly a third of the participants died.
What the researchers found was that less than 10 per cent of the subjects undertook strength training during that period, but that those who did were 46 per cent less likely to die during the study than those who did not.
Even after adjustments to factor in influences on health such as BMI, diabetes and heart disease, and lifestyle habits including physical activity, drinking and smoking, weight bearing was linked to a 19 per cent reduced risk of death.
Not only does lifting weights strengthen muscles and bones to keep you agile, it also reduces your risk of falls and fractures and helps you burn more calories.
Author of the study Jennifer Kraschnewski says even a little strength training can do a lot for your health.
“Older adults have the ability to achieve strength similar to those decades younger by engaging in simple strength training routines.”
Want to learn how to lift weights? Check out this guide on how to strength train properly.
Read more about the study.