30 Minutes a Week of Muscular Exercise to Reduce the Risk of Death

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    The benefits of muscle strengthening are already known, but it was not known what the optimal dose of squats, push-ups, weights, resistance bands, or heavy gardening activities could be

    Performing exercise and muscle-strengthening activities for 30 to 60 minutes per week is associated with a 10 to 20% lower risk of death from all causes. In particular cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and some cancers.

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    A review of previous observational studies published in The British Journal of Sport Medicine adds, however, that there is no conclusive evidence that more muscle exercise time further reduces risk.

    The benefits of muscle strengthening are already known. But it was not known what the optimal dose of squats, push-ups and weights could be. As well as resistance bands, or heavy gardening activities like digging.

    Relevant databases

    To try to find out, Japanese researchers scoured databases for relevant observational studies. Mainly that they included adults without major health problems and were controlled for at least two years.

    They finally focused on 16 investigations, the oldest from 2012, in which the number of participants ranged between 4,000 and 480,000. Most were made in the United States, one of the characteristics that the team points out as a limitation. This is because “the results may not be more generally applicable,” they write.

    Analysis of pooled data showed a maximum risk reduction of between 10 and 20% with approximately 30-60 minutes of weekly exercise and muscle-strengthening activities.

    60 minutes of weekly muscular exercise was associated with a reduction in diabetes

    In the case of diabetes, up to 60 minutes of muscular exercise each week was associated with a “great reduction in risk.” But with greater dedication a gradual decrease was observed.

    Pooled analysis of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities showed that the reduction in risk of death from any cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer was even greater. Especially when these two types of activities were combined: 40%, 46% and 28% less, respectively.

    The authors indicate that “the combination of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities may provide a greater benefit in reducing mortality.”However, they remind that as the available data is limited, more studies are needed. Above all, focused on a more diverse population, to increase the certainty of the evidence.

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