Do 30 to 60 minutes of strength training per week to lower your risk of disease, research suggests

Shot of a young woman on a gym mat with dumbbells against an urban background

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Getting up and moving every day is one of the healthiest gifts you can give yourself. When you can’t go long without a heartbreaking activity like tending the garden, taking the dog for a daily walk, jumping rope, playing pickleball, or sweating hard during a dance or spin class, you’re doing wonders for your brain, body, and overall health ( keep it up!).

And a great way to build on the incredible health benefits of your existing workout routine is to add (slowly and safely) some weights or resistance bands to the mix, even if only a few times a week. This will help you develop short-term strength and stability, but it’s also a groundbreaking way to protect yourself from disease and live a longer, healthier life.

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A 2022 systemic review and meta-analysis of 16 studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that doing muscle-strengthening activities, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands, was associated with a “10 to 17 percent lower risk.” on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, total cancer [mortality]diabetes and lung cancer.”

But overall, according to the study results, incorporating 30 to 60 minutes of weight lifting or other strength-building activities per week (without any cardio exercise) has a clear and positive association with reducing all-cause mortality, heart disease, and heart disease. total cancer [mortality]. These can be longer muscle-strengthening sessions, a few times a week or just 5 to 10 minutes a day. Researchers found that 60 minutes of vigorous strength training is optimal for reducing the risk of diabetes. The researchers do note that the data is still limited and further studies are needed to be sure of the evidence and to provide a clearer prescription for exactly how much and which types of strength training deliver which disease risk-reducing benefits.

The review also found evidence that doing aerobic exercise (think: swimming, jogging, walking, cycling) and Getting your weekly 30 to 60-minute strength training session can further enhance these disease-preventive benefits, resulting in a 40 percent lower risk of all-cause death, a 46 percent lower risk of heart disease, a 28 percent lower risk of die of cancer.

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Whether you’re adding kettlebells to your squat routine, putting a few more pounds on your favorite weight machine at the gym, or ordering a set of resistance bands to use at home, building musculoskeletal strength, and most importantly, building lean muscle tissue is a must. integral to improving balance, maintaining a healthy metabolism, and preventing injury and disease.

But be safe! If you’ve never lifted weights before, always start slow and light, focus on form (critical to avoid injury), and listen to your body. It’s smart to learn proper form and progress tips from a credible fitness instructor, so sign up for one or two beginner sessions with a trainer, watch an online workout video, or even talk to your doctor about the safest way to get started.

Ready to build some kick-butt strength? Check out this easy resistance band circuit you can do at home or at the gym, or this weighted isometric workout routine.

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