Strength Training Linked to Increased Longevity and Independence
Strength training, especially in middle age and beyond, is essential for maintaining a high quality of life and longevity. Just 30 minutes to an hour of strength training a week can increase life expectancy by 10% to 17% and reduce the risk of premature death from cancer and heart disease.
As we age, our muscle mass, strength and function naturally decreases by 3% to 8% each decade after the age of 30. By age 60, hand strength and dexterity can decrease, making simple, everyday tasks difficult. This process, known as sarcopenia, is a leading cause of disability in older adults. Luckily, regular strength training with free weights, weight machines or body weight can help counterbalance the negative effects of sarcopenia.
Strength becomes increasingly more important as we age, impacting almost every aspect of our lives from sitting and standing to our ability to grasp objects. To maintain your quality of life, independence and functionality longer, incorporate regular strength training into your exercise routine.
Both cardiovascular activity and strength training are necessary to achieve optimal results from exercise. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week and strength training exercises for each muscle group twice a week. Start simple with bodyweight movements like squats or lunges and work up to lifting heavier weights.
Eastern New Mexico Medical Center Senior Circle is a great free resource to participate in activities such as exercise and chair yoga. For more information, visit enmmc.com/senior-circle-program or call 575-624-4676.
To find a primary care physician or to learn more about the importance of strength training, visit easternnewmexicomedicalgroup.com.
Eastern New Mexico Medical Center (ENMMC) is an acute care hospital. In addition to emergency services and medical and surgical care, the hospital provides specialty services including invasive cardiology, cancer treatment, women’s services, rehabilitation, mental health services and advanced diagnostic imaging. ENMMC is fully accredited by The Joint Commission and is an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Level III Trauma Center and a Certified Primary Stroke Center.