Sunday, August 14, 2022

Want to Live Longer?

Excerpt from the Johns Hopkins Health After 50 Newsletter, July 2014:

~ Muscle your way to a longer life

Want to live longer? Build more muscle, says a new study. 

After analyzing data from the medical records of more than 3,50 Americans ages 55 and older, researchers concluded that the more muscle mass a person has, the less likely he or she will die prematurely, even after taking any cardiovascular and diabetic risk factors into account.  Specifically, people in the study who had the lowest muscle mass had a 30% higher chance of premature death than people who had the highest amounts.

Although the researchers couldn’t prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship between muscle and survival, they suggest it may have something to do with the metab0loism that promotes muscle mass and its association with longer survival.  It’s also common for people with more muscle mass to have a more active than average lifestyle which can contribute to longevity, too.  But, whatever the reason, the researchers found that muscle mass relative to a person’s height is a better predictor of longevity for older adults than the widely used body mass index (BMI), which estimates body fat based on weight and height.

If you want to build muscle, you should do a variety of strengthening exercises with dumbbells or resistance bands two to three times each week for about 30 minutes each session.  You can do exercises like pushups and squats, too, which involves using your own body weight.  If you’re new to strength training, ask your doctor to suggest the best exercises for you and seek out a certified trainer to show you proper form.

Note:  I hope you enjoy the above article.  I took the liberty of formatting it and adding paragraphs to make it easier to read.  One of the skills I enjoy is programming.  This means determining which exercises will help an individual to achieve his/her goals.  Weight training is called Progressive Resistance Exercise – emphasis on the word progressive.  If you create a good foundation, you can build little victories on top of each other.  This is SO important for preventing injury. 

Jayah Faye Paley, ACE & AFAA Certified Personal Trainer

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