7 Reasons Why Strength Training Is Key to Living Longer

Eating protein in the proper amounts, at the proper time, is also crucial for preserving muscle. As we outline in AARPs New York Times best selling book, The Whole Body Reset, science shows that women 50 and older need at least 25 grams of protein at every meal (30 grams for men) to stimulate protein synthesis, the process for building and maintaining muscle. Studies show that when people in their 60s combined this style of eating, known as “protein timing,” with resistance exercise, their bodies respond as if they were in their 20s. Here’s why combining resistance exercise and protein timing is so important for your health.

1. You’ll keep your brain healthy

One study looked at 970 people living in senior communities who had no evidence of cognitive decline. Researchers put the subjects through a series of strength tests, measuring their upper and lower extremities. Over the next 3.6 years, 15 percent of the subjects developed Alzheimer’s disease. But their risk was strongly determined by where they fell on the strength scale: For every 1 point increase in muscle strength, a subject’s risk of Alzheimer’s dropped by 43 percent.

2. You’ll reduce your risk of future ​weight gain

A low level of muscular fitness was associated with higher odds of gaining at least 22 pounds over the ensuing 20 years, one study found.

3. You’ll keep your blood pressure ​under controll

In another study, higher levels of muscular strength were associated with a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure among men with prehypertension.