A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at the associations between muscle-strengthening activities and the risk of non-communicable diseases and mortality in adults independent of aerobic activities. Essentially this looked back and analysed sixteen studies and concluded that muscle-strengthening activities were inversely associated with the risk of all-cause mortality and major non-communicable diseases including Cardio Vascular Disease, total cancer, diabetes and lung cancer.
The outcome of this research is that it is recommended that we all partake in half an hour or so of muscle strengthening activity. This can be lifting weights, push-ups or heavy gardening. Do this every week and the evidence suggest this could reduce the risk of dying from any cause by as much as a fifth.
The Guardian as ever has great articles …
Have a look at one I did earlier too!
UK physical activity guidelines suggest muscle strengthening activities could be activities of daily living such as carrying heavy shopping bags, gardening or even carrying the grandchildren. However more formal classes such as yoga, pilates or tai chi also help and the discipline may mean you keep up the exercise! That is you don’t need to be going to the gym but this will obviously contribute too. Maybe carrying the shopping and putting it away on a high shelf will be just as useful!
It is recommended adults do strengthening activities working all the major muscle groups at least two days a week as well as doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week. Researcher finds the most benefit is achieved when you do both regularly.