Lifting weight while aging may be the secret to living longer. A study from the Penn State College of Medicine shows that strength training as you age reduces your risk for death. Researchers surveyed and then tracked the exercise habits of people 65 years or older for 15 years (nearly one third of the participants died during the tracking period).When analyzing the results of the individuals in the study, less than 10 percent of them were involved in strength training, but those select few were 46 percent less likely to die during the study than everyone else.
There are a number of plausible explanations for why the individuals involved in strength training are living longer, including that they would have been in better health to begin with. But even after adjusting for BMI, chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, and habits like total physical activity, drinking, and smoking, lifting was linked to a 19 percent reduced risk of death. Using weights and a strength training program as you get older makes your muscles stronger which results in better stamina and balance and increases your bone density says study author Jennifer Kraschnewski, M.D.If you combine the benefits of better stamina, balance and increased bone density, your risk for falls and fractures decreases. Falls and fractures create significant disabilities among older people.