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The relationship between weightlifting and mortality

Physical exercise has long been recommended for all adults for improved health conditions and enhanced life span. Aerobic exercise has been well documented for its benefits, but the effects of muscle strengthening exercises on health isn't as well known.

Adults are recommended at least 150-300 minutes/week of moderate to intense physical activity or 75-150 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Muscle-strengthening exercises are important to further or maintain muscle strength and stamina. Adults are recommended to complete at least 2 days/week of muscle strengthening exercises for all major muscle groups.

99,713 adults were included in study to observe the effects of weightlifting on mortality. It was observed that both weightlifting and aerobic (moderate-vigorous) were independently associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. However, this was not the case for cancer. Interestingly, the lower mortality was stronger in females. Those who followed a combination of weightlifting and aerobic exercise gained more benefits than either type of exercise alone.

Gorzelitz, J. et al. (2021). Independent and joint associations of weightlifting and aerobic activity with all-cause, cardiovascular disease and lung mortality in the prostate, lung, colorectal and ovarian cancer screening trial. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 105315.


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