Does Weightlifting Added to Aerobic Exercise Offer a Longer Life?

Regular physical activity provides important health benefits for those with chronic health conditions or disabilities. Exercise in general helps build a stronger body and lower mortality risk.

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that weightlifting added to aerobic exercise further reduces the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. [1] This study found that weightlifting is associated with a 9% decrease in the all-cause and CVD mortality. Results showed that adults who met aerobic recommendations but did not weightlift had a 32% lower all-cause mortality risk, while those who also reported weightlifting 1–2 times/week had a 41% lower risk.

According to the lead study author, Jessica Gorzelitz, older adults who participated in weightlifting exercise had significantly lower mortality before and after using both aerobic and weightlifting exercise.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic exercise (such as a brisk walk), and 2 or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activity. The CDC suggests the following to strengthen muscles:

  • Lifting weights (even light weights)
  • Working with resistance bands
  • Exercises that use your body weight for resistance (i.e., push-ups, sit-ups)
  • Gardening
  • Some forms of yoga

Things like sit-to-stand and sit-to-stand while holding small light weights are better that doing nothing. It is never too late to start working on increasing muscle strength. There are benefits even when done in small increments. Grab those weights and start building muscle strength!

Learn more:

How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need? [Internet] Available from:

[1] Gorzelitz J, Trabert B, Katki HA, et al Independent and joint associations of weightlifting and aerobic activity with all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 27 September 2022. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-105315

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