We wanted to know if weightlifting alone—or in combination with aerobic exercise—influences one’s risk of early death,” says Jess Gorzelitz, assistant professor of health and human physiology at the University of Iowa, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
“So we asked a group of roughly 100,000 older adults about their lifestyle, and then we followed them for about 10 years.”
Those who hit the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic activity—150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week—were nearly a third less likely to die over those 10 years. That’s no surprise, since aerobic activity improves cardiovascular fitness and is linked to a lower risk of several cancers.
“But we also found that weightlifting, independent of aerobic activity, was linked to a 10 to 20 percent lower risk of dying,” says Gorzelitz.
Want the most bang for your buck? Get your heart and your muscles pumping.