Will Combining Cardio With Weights Help You Live Longer?
Separately, aerobic exercise and strength training can help you live a longer, healthier life—but combining the two may provide even more benefits, new research shows. Two recent studies—both published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine—have found that pairing muscle-strengthening exercises with aerobic physical activity further lowers the risk of death from any cause (with the exception of cancer) than either type of exercise alone.
“Our finding that mortality risk appeared to be lowest for those who participated in both types of exercise provides strong support for current recommendations to engage in both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities,” one set of study authors wrote.
Though both types of exercise are recommended—150 weekly minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 weekly minutes of vigorous activity, and at least two muscle-strengthening days a week—data on the mortality benefits of weightlifting are limited. The new studies set out to change that.
“It really enlightens this arena of what kind of exercise we should do,” John Osborne, MD, PhD, director of the State of the Heart Cardiology in Dallas, Texas, told Health. Here’s what to know about the benefits of weight training paired with aerobic activity, and how to easily add the two into your daily practice.
Excerpted from Health