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Weight Lifting Might Lead To 46% Reduced Risk Of Death

Weight Lifting Might Lead To 46% Reduced Risk Of Death

Milk apparently is not the only thing that does a body good. Now research has shown that strength training into older age can actually help to prolong life. It only takes a trip to the gym twice a week to reap the benefits of this form of body good exercise.

The Study

Researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Columbia University discovered that older individuals who took part in strength-training only twice per week helped the individuals who were 65 years of age or older to live longer. The research sample they had for this specific group was small, and really only came in at 10 percent of the age group’s overall count, but the evidence obtained is priceless.

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The data came to the researchers through surveys that spanned over 15 years of the participants lives, and from information found on their death certificates from the years 1997 to 2001. This research found that the older adults who took part in strength training twice a week had a 41% reduction in cardiac death, and a 19% lowered chance of being killed by cancer.

What Strength-Training Can Do

Exercise of any type can help to prolong a life, and strength-training provides plenty of perks. When it comes to older age our muscles are one of the first things that start to deteriorate. With strength training muscles stay healthy and strong. This is important as these muscles help provide cushion and balance to help keep older individuals safe from falls.

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According to an article in Men’s Health titled “Lifting Weights As You Age Cuts Your Risk Of Early Death By 46%” falling accidents are said to be the number one reason why older individuals collect disability.

Working the muscles also helps to cut down on body fat, which is great for helping to reduce cholesterol levels, and even helps to slow or even stop diabetes that many older individuals acquire as they age. Strength-training can also help keep the bones strong, and we all know the importance of strong bones as we age. This type of exercise also has the ability to keep the heart pumping and blood flowing.

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Oxygen is another benefit of exercising, which is something that our brains need always, but even more so as we age. When oxygen is flowing through the blood in our veins it helps to keep the brain alert and active. It unfortunately will not stop Alzheimer’s from occurring, but it could help to prevent it from happening early.

How to Get Started

At the time that this study took place only 10% of the older population took part in strength training. This is a small portion of individuals in this age group that would benefit from this type of exercise routine. Sharing the research with individuals of any age could help get more people in strength training programs. Many gyms are able to help guide older individuals in the type of training exercises that they should be able to do, and they are there in case any emergency occurs.

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There are social groups that work together on exercise programs for the elderly, and some may already be in the area. If there are not any programs in the area where the individual lives a few short phone calls to places like the Community Action Agency or Senior Support Services may get the ball rolling so that a strength-training program can be started.

While exercise is beneficial to most individuals it should be advised that anyone who would like to start strength training should consult with their physician first. Exercise does help to improve the over-all quality of life, and strength-training does that in abundance.

Featured photo credit: Photograph Courtesy of Joseph Philipson via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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