Are You Strong Enough to Live?

Assessing your risk of death is quite the undertaking, but that’s what researchers in China and at the University of Indiana set out to investigate. They examined 4,449 older adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  The results they found were very conclusive. Stronger subjects had a much lower risk of death than the ones who were not as strong.

The researchers concluded that low muscle strength was independently associated with a higher risk of death, regardless of muscle mass, metabolic syndrome, sedentary time or leisure-time physical activity.  

The researchers also concluded that older people with low strength were twice as likely to die than similar subjects with a sufficient amount of strength. The most interesting piece of data collected in the study was about muscle mass. If an older person has muscle mass but lacked actual strength, their risk of death wasn’t lowered. However, subjects with less muscle mass but more core strength did have a lower risk of death.

While there is a strong association with having excess muscle mass and excess strength, it is not always true. A person can be muscular but not actually be that strong.

What can you do?

Get as strong as you can be. Especially for older people, developing strength NEEDS to be a priority, not necessarily building muscle mass. As research concludes, building strength can have a positive impact on lowering your risk of death. 

Steve Zahn

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

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