Pick up those dumbbells – it could save your life.
A recent study has found that older adults who did strength training at least two times a week lived up to 46 per cent longer than those who didn’t, as well as reporting a 41 per cent lower risk of death from heart disease and 19 per cent lower risk of death from cancer.
Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Centre and Columbia University tracked the activity of more than 30,000 over-65s from 1997 through till death, and found that while all physical activity positively impacted longevity, strength training had the greatest effect.
But you don’t need to be a former bodybuilder to make the most of strength training – anyone can do it, with or without equipment. In fact, according to Kraschnewski, “older adults have the ability to achieve strength similar to those decades younger by engaging in simple strength training routines.”
This exercise strengthens your major buttock muscles, the gluteus maximus, which is important for keeping your body up straight and is one of your major propulsion muscles. If this muscle doesn’t work properly, you are unable to push off properly, stand on one leg without falling or walk up and down hills.
Quadriceps (the muscles at the front of the thighs) are extremely important muscles for walking, getting up and down off the ground and being able to walk up and down hills.
3. Calf strength
The calf muscles are important for propulsion and one of the major stabilizing muscles of the foot. Weakness of these muscles means slower reaction to the change in surface or uneven ground.