If you want to stay fit and live longer, you’ll have to put in some physical effort. Literally. A new research reveals that daily push-ups and sit-ups may add a few extra years to your lifespan.
The research found that the people who did strength-based exercise had a 23% reduction in risk of premature death and a 31% reduction in cancer-related death.
“The study shows exercise that promotes muscular strength may be just as important for health as aerobic activities like jogging or cycling,” said Emmanuel Stamatakis, associate professor at the University of Sydney in Australia. “And assuming our findings reflect cause and effect relationships, it may be even more vital when it comes to reducing risk of death from cancer,” Stamatakis added.
The researchers observed 80,306 adults for two years and made some adjustments in order to reduce the influence of certain factors such as age, sex, health status, lifestyle behaviour and educational level. All participants with established cardiovascular disease or cancer at the baseline and those who passed away in the meanwhile were excluded from the study.
The research, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that exercises performed using one’s own body weight without specific equipment were just as effective as gym-based training.
“When people think of strength training, they instantly think of doing weights in a gym, but that doesn’t have to be the case,” noted Stamatakis.
“Many people are intimidated by gyms, the costs or the culture they promote, so it’s great to know that anyone can do classic exercises like triceps dips, sit-ups, push-ups or lunges in their own home or local park and potentially reap the same health benefits,” the researcher said.