What is the secret to longer life? Green smoothies? Eliminating sugar? Eating more vegetables? How about......A BARBELL? Well, according to an article in Men's Health, lifting weights can help reduce the risk of early death by 46%!! That sounds pretty substantial doesn't it? In this article, they state that researchers surveyed people age 65 or older about their exercise habits and then tracked them for 15 years. In that time, 1/3 of those people died. But the interesting thing is that less than 10% of those surveyed and tracked actually strength trained but of those that did, they were 46% less likely to die during the study than everyone else.
One question I get asked a lot is, "Should I really be lifting weights when I'm old?". My first thought is you shouldn't NOT be lifting weights when you are old. (although you should always consult with your doctor FIRST before starting a new weight training or exercise regimen) This seems to be one of the missing elements for most older people. They lack strength and balance. This is why they start falling more often and having accidents. Their muscles and bones begin to deteriorate with age making them much more susceptible to injury. In my opinion, one of the best things an older person can do for themselves physically, besides WALKING regularly, is lifting weights. Lifting weights also increases bone density!
I have a personal training client in her 60's who is deadlifting 155 lbs and squatting close to 100 lbs due to consistent and dedicated weight training. This makes her much more capable in life with lifting items, walking throughout the day, getting up and down from sitting position, and many other practical daily movements she has to complete.
For more on this topic read the following article from Men's Health: