Sixty minutes per week seems like a small price to pay for anything, particularly adding some extra years to your life.
And a new study is showing that’s all it might cost to add some high-quality years to your existence.
A study from Japan suggests that as little as 30-60 minutes of strength training exercise per week may reduce the risk of dying from any cause and from heart disease, diabetes, blood vessel disease, and more by up to 20 percent.
The research specifically explored the benefits of strength, or resistance, training to build muscle. It found this type of exercise had benefits independent of aerobic training.
Strength training includes weight lifting exercises, whether they be bodyweight, resistance bands, dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, etc. It can also include activities like heavy gardening when digging or shovelling.
To get even more from strength training, combine it with some aerobic exercise.
The research found that just 60 minutes per week, so two or three 20-30 minute sessions per week, could contribute to a longer and healthier life. What’s interesting was that they found little additional benefit to performing more strength-training exercises.
When combined with aerobic exercise, so say two or three days with strength training and another two or three with aerobics, it could reduce the risk of early death from any cause by 40 percent, and heart and blood vessel disease by 46 percent.
So, how do you start strength training? Very carefully. If you’ve never done it or haven’t for a long time, it’s best to start slow and steady.
Begin with bodyweight exercises like pushups, situps, or squats. You can use countertops, chairs, or walls to help if needed.
It’s also worthwhile to spend some time learning how to perform moves properly. You can do this by watching a video online or speaking to a fitness professional.