Movement is one of the best things we can do for longevity. There are many benefits to incorporating both strength and cardio into your weekly routine.


Blood sugar control

  • A study published in the Wiley Online Library found that strength training reduced the likelihood of prediabetes progressing to type 2 diabetes.A total of 137 subjects with a mean age of 59 years (45 men, 92 women) entered the final analysis. Supervised exercise programs, including aerobic training (AT), resistance training (RT), and AT + RT, were completed for 60 minutes per day, three non-consecutive days per week for 24 months. After 24 months of intervention, the incidences of T2D adjusted by sex and age were significantly decreased with all three groups as compared to the control group.
  • In a study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, it was found that moderate strength training and an increase in overall muscle mass were shown to reduce a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 32 percent. The study involved more than 4,500 adults with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The participants were enrolled in a strength-training program.

Increased bone density

  • In a study called Resistance Training and Bone Mass, twenty-four elderly men and 18 elderly women participated in a 24-week study. The mean average age of the men was about 54 years. The women were all postmenopausal and not on estrogen therapy. Their mean age was about 52 years. None of the subjects had participated in an exercise or resistance training program for the two years preceding the study. The subjects were randomly assigned to a high-intensity or a moderate-intensity resistance training program. Both resulted in a significant increase in bone mineral density for both men and women. It appears that high-intensity resistance exercise yielded slightly greater increases in bone mineral density, lean mass, and muscle strength. The article notes that personal trainers should enthusiastically encourage their elderly clients to include resistance training into their lifestyles.
  • In an article in the European Journal of Endocrinology, they found that bone mineral density increased after a 16-week resistance training intervention in elderly women with decreased muscle strength. There were 37 elderly women (mean age 71.9 ± 3.1 years) with decreased muscle strength who participated in the resistance training intervention three times per week with 60 min per session for 16 weeks under the supervision of a licensed physiotherapist. Resistance training seemed to increase total hip BMD by 6%.

Increasing resting metabolic rate

  • Age and gender were compared in this study when looking at the effect of strength training on resting metabolic rate and physical activity. Resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure of physical activity were measured before and after 24 weeks of strength training in 10 young men (20-30 yr), 9 young women (20-30 yr), 11 older men (65-75 yr), and 10 older women (65-75 yr). When looked at as a whole, absolute resting metabolic rate increased by 7%. They did find that changes in absolute and relative resting metabolic rate in response to strength training are influenced by gender but not age.
  • In an article in the International Journal of Exercise Science, researchers did a study with 19 sedentary women. They went through a 6-week functional training program to see if it would change their basal metabolic rate. The results from this study support the use of functional resistance training as a method for increasing BMR in a group of previously sedentary adult women.


Heart health

  • In a study published on PubMed, the researchers compared the effects of cardiovascular rehabilitation training for three months in 235 coronary heart disease patients with 42 patients with no rehabilitation therapy. The results showed that the body fat index, motility, and other cardiovascular risk factors were significantly improved in the rehabilitated group.
  • A study was cited in this article where it discusses physical activity and exercise for secondary prevention among patients with cardiovascular disease. To look at the level of individual fitness parameters and mortality risk, 5,641 CHD patients enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation programs were separated into low, or high fitness moderate, based on peak metabolic equivalents. Higher baseline fitness predicted lower mortality. Compared to participants who were the least fit (low 1/3 of the cohort), those with the highest fitness had a significant survival benefit. Equally encouraging was the observation that improvements in fitness during cardiac rehabilitation resulted in decreased mortality even at 1-year and even in participants who started rehab in the lowest fitness group. The data suggests that poor fitness is a risk for increase mortality and that improvement in fitness is an important component of secondary prevention.

Lowers blood pressure

  • In a study published in 2007, the authors looked at the correlation between aerobic exercise and resting blood pressure. There were 2442 subjects (1653 exercise, 890 control) 18 years and older. 47 clinical trials were included. They were tested after at least four weeks of training. The differences between groups were statistically different showing that aerobic exercise reduces resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults.
  • A recent study the authors did a randomized controlled trials of at least 4 weeks investigating the effects of aerobic endurance training on ambulatory blood pressure, and healthy adults were included. They included 15 randomized controlled trials, involving 17 study groups and 633 participants (394 exercise participants and 239 control participants). Overall, endurance training induced a significant reduction in daytime blood pressure. No effect was observed on night-time blood pressure. The findings suggest that aerobic endurance exercise significantly decreases daytime, but not night-time, ambulatory blood pressure.

Reduces symptoms of depression

  • In a study cited in this article, 30 community-dwelling moderately depressed men and women were randomly assigned to an exercise intervention group, a social support group, or a wait-list control group. The exercise intervention consisted of walking 20 to 40 minutes 3 times per week for 6 weeks. The authors reported that the exercise program alleviated overall symptoms of depression and was more effective than the other 2 groups in reducing somatic symptoms of depression.
  • The authors of this study looked at the benefits of aerobic exercise in patients with major depression. Twelve patients (five men, seven women) with a major depressive episode according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Society of Psychiatry (DSM IV) criteria participated. Training consisted of walking on a treadmill following an interval training pattern and was carried out for 30 minutes a day for 10 days. There was a clinically relevant and statistically significant reduction in depression scores according to the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. They concluded that aerobic exercise can produce substantial improvement in mood in patients with major depressive disorders in a short time.

As you can see, there are so many benefits to daily movement! Make sure you include both strength and cardio into your weekly routine. If you find that you are getting bored, switch things up or work with a personal trainer.

We have some awesome movement classes here at STAT Wellness. You can book a class here. You can also book a session with me if you need help figuring out how to incorporate more movement into your life and make it a habit!

Be well,

Stephanie Watson