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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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