Building muscles through strength training, plus aerobics, protects against cancer and other illnesses, upping your chances of a longer life.
Workouts that include sit-ups, push-ups, or weights or exercise bands — any moves that keep a range of muscles strong — can add years to your life.
If you’re worried about cancer, you have a stronger reason to consider picking up a bar-bell habit. Two sessions a week of strength-training exercises cut the risk of dying from cancer by 31 percent, in a University of Sydney study of more than 80,300 adults over age 30, the largest yet comparing how different kinds of exercise affect mortality. The same study found that strength-training cut your chances of premature death by any cause by 23 percent. Combining it with aerobic exercise was the best bet of all — better than aerobics alone.
In fact, the muscle-workouts seemed even more important than aerobics for staving off cancer.
Yet many people who put in time on treadmills and stationary bikes avoid the strength-training area of the gym.
Women may see it as male territory. They don’t want Popeye muscles. Not to worry: You won’t look like a muscle-lady unless you train like one. Everyday strength-training makes both men and women stronger and fitter. If you persist, you’ll become more confident and at ease in your body, two potent aphrodisiacs.
To get there, you actually don’t need to go near dumb-bells or gym machines. The study found that exercises without specific equipment, using your own body weight, were just as effective. You can do classic exercises like triceps dips, sit-ups, push-ups, or lunges in your own home, or maybe the local park. You can strengthen your core in a Pilates, Barre, or ballet class.
Don’t cop out with the excuse that you don’t have time. Instead try one of the many 10-minute workouts.
April 08, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN