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How to Prolong Your Life: The Winning Combination of Cardio and Weights

A healthy person performs biceps dumbbells curls while his skeleton glows visibly.
**Incorporating both resistance training and aerobic exercise** is the key to prolonging life, according to research. Combining weightlifting and cardio can lead to a nearly 50 percent reduction in mortality risk. Even if you're unable to meet the recommended exercise duration, any movement is better than none, and your body will benefit from this winning combination in the long run.
The following is a reformat of an article published in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Pump Club email, 16-April-2024


For decades, the debate has raged on: cardio or weights? Which is better for your health? But when it comes to the game of life, the answer is clear—you need both.

The Research-Backed Approach

Research suggests that the best way to extend your lifespan is by incorporating both resistance training and aerobic exercise. Scientists analyzed data from nearly 100,000 individuals to identify behaviors associated with longer lifespans. Surprisingly, the focus wasn’t solely on exercise benefits but rather on how consistently people moved.

The Alarming Reality

Only 16 percent of people reported regular weightlifting, and just 32 percent engaged in weekly cardiovascular workouts. However, those who took action reaped significant rewards.

The Impact of Weightlifting and Cardio

  • Lifting Weights: On average, individuals who lifted weights experienced up to a 22 percent lower mortality rate.
  • Cardiovascular Exercise: Those who did cardio had up to a 34 percent lower mortality.
  • The Winning Combo: The real winner? Combining weights and cardio, which resulted in a nearly 50 percent reduction in mortality risk.

Beyond Observational Studies

This isn’t the first time research has highlighted the benefits of weight training. A separate study involving over 115,000 participants revealed that regardless of how much cardio someone did, adding strength training at least twice a week significantly lowered the risk of death from any cause compared to those who skipped weightlifting.

The Recommended Exercise

The current guidelines recommend:

  • Moderate-Intensity Exercise: Aim for 150 to 300 minutes per week.
  • Vigorous-Intensity Exercise: Shoot for 75 to 150 minutes weekly.

Remember, any movement is better than none, but pushing the intensity a few times each week will pay off in the long run. Your body will thank you for this winning combination of cardio and weights! 🏋️‍♀️🏃‍♀️🌟

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