Are you doing strength training and cardio as part of your exercise routine?

If not, you should be!

Despite popular belief, lifting weights or strength training isn’t just for younger people. Older adults should incorporate strength training into their exercise routine — along with a healthy dose of cardio.  

Strength Training & Cardio: A Winning Combo

We lose about 3-8% of muscle mass each decade after age 30. (1) And we lose even more after the age of 60. Loss of muscle leads to mobility limitations, making everyday tasks difficult.  

Doing strength training and cardio helps build muscle and gives you the energy to keep doing important things, like playing with your grandkids or completing daily chores.  

The CDC recommends adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. This level of activity promotes a healthy weight, reduces the risk of disease, improves mental health, and more.     

Additionally, adults who engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly can lower their risk of death by 21%. (2)   

Moderate-intensity exercise, like walking, swimming, or pickleball, is great. But combining it with strength training is even better! 

Adults combining muscle-strengthening exercises with aerobic activity once or twice significantly lower certain health risks 

A recent study shows these adults have a 47% lower risk of dying from any cause, excluding cancer. (3) This is compared to adults who aren’t active at all.

You might have just found the motivation to exercise after all!  

Women benefit even more from combining strength training and cardio in their weekly routine.

As women lose bone mass at a quicker rate than men, strength training is important for bone health. You can target areas likely to fracture, like the hips.

    How Do I Start?

    Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio five days a week and two or more days of strength training.

    You don’t need a gym for either type of exercise. You can take a brisk walk around the neighborhood or at a school track.  

    And strength training can be done right at home. Use free weights, bands, kettlebells, or your own body weight.

    Try two to three sets per exercise, with 10 repetitions per set when strength training.  


    (1) Volpi E, Nazemi R, Fujita S. Muscle tissue changes with aging. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2004 Jul;7(4):405-10. doi: 10.1097/01.mco.0000134362.76653.b2. PMID: 15192443; PMCID: PMC2804956.


    (3) Gorzelitz J, et al. Br J Sports Med 2022;0:1–7. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2021-105315

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