Jenny Thompson: Lifting weights longevity.

From the desk of Jenny Thompson:

I have a friend whose grandmother lifts weights every day — her doctor’s suggestion. But she doesn’t go to a gym. In fact, she rarely leaves her Ohio farmhouse except to take a daily walk.

Before breakfast, she starts her mornings by lifting a gallon jug of water. Five times for the left arm. Five times for the right. Then she repeats it before lunch and dinner.

Next month, she’ll turn 96.

Her simple weightlifting probably isn’t the key to her longevity. But since she’s been doing it since her 80s, I believe it’s a large part of the reason she still manages to do so many things for herself.

Knowing her story, I wasn’t surprised to see a new study about weightlifting benefits for nonagenarians.

Yes, we’ve seen similar results before. Strength training widens range of movement and improves balance. That means less risk of falling and less risk of breaking a hip or another serious injury.

What stood out in this study was this note from the researchers: Between ages 50 and 70 we lose nearly one-third of our muscle strength.

That’s a major loss — but one that’s easy enough to stave off by starting a strength routine ASAP.

To Your Good Health,