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Exercise for Longevity: Aerobic Activity or Strength Training?

Article written by A4M on November 10, 2022 by Zuzanna Walter. Read the original article, here

More than just a vital component of maintaining optimal health, regular physical exercise is one of the most impactful lifestyle interventions for longevity.

Compared to being inactive, studies have found that exercising can reduce all-cause mortality by up to 30%. Experts have deemed the benefits of transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle to an active exercise regimen comparable to the health differences between smokers and non-smokers.

Research also suggests that patients who stop exercising or fail to exercise throughout their lives experience a heightened risk for disease and mobility loss and an overall lower life expectancy. On the other hand, older adults who exercise regularly are more likely to experience improvements in many areas of health: mental health, emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and cognitive function. And daily physical activity can reverse specific age-related processes, prevent heart disease and cancer, and optimize organ health, among its numerous other benefits.

Not all exercises are created equal. So, what is the optimal exercise regimen for elongating the lifespan and promoting long-term health and happiness? Experts in the field continue to explore this question while new research reveals more about the ideal routine for longevity.

The Latest Research On Exercise And Longevity

A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that an exercise routine comprised of either aerobic exercise or strength training was associated with a lower risk of death.

As part of their trial, researchers evaluated National Health Interview Survey data from 1997 to 2014. Survey participants completed questionnaires regarding the type of physical activity they engaged in, including their level of moderate or vigorous exercise and the number of muscle-strengthening exercise sessions they completed weekly.

After the researchers adjusted for age, gender, income, education, marital status, and chronic conditions, they found that participants who engaged in one hour of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise weekly had a 15% lower mortality risk.

Furthermore, their findings revealed that mortality risk decreased by 27% in participants who engaged in three hours of weekly moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise.

However, the lowest mortality risk was reported in participants who also completed one to two weekly strength-training sessions. These individuals had a 40% lower mortality risk than those who did not exercise; this difference can be compared to the mortality risk between a non-smoker and a person who smokes half a pack of cigarettes per day.

Longevity Boost: Strength Training 

Strength training is increasingly recognized as an essential component of an effective, healthful exercise regimen. To counter are-related progressive reductions in muscle mass, regular strength training can promote muscle strength and support aging patients’ ability to function at higher levels for longer.

As part of a meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers assessed the direct impact of strength training on longevity. The study’s authors reported that the most significant reduction in all-cause mortality risk was associated with between 30 and 60 minutes of strength training each week, which resulted in a 10-20% decrease in mortality risk, cardiovascular disease, and cancer risk.

According to sports scientist and one of the study’s authors Haruki Momma, there is a need for much more research in this area to determine the optimal amount of strength training required to reduce all-cause and disease-specific risks.

Aerobic Exercise + Strength Training = A Longer, Happier Life

The latest research concludes that the most significant mortality risk reduction can be achieved with 1-3 hours of aerobic exercise and 1-2 strength training workouts per week. In creating an effective exercise regimen, it is crucial to maintain a consistent schedule, avoid overuse injuries with recovery days, and make engaging in physical activity a habit.

This lifestyle intervention can not only boost patient lifespan and improve health outcomes, but it can also significantly improve quality of life – especially as they age.

“When I ask people, ‘What does successful aging mean to you?’ people say they want to be independent, they want to maintain their function and quality of life, they want to do the things that they want to do,” Kenneth Koncilja, a gerontologist at the Cleveland Clinic, shared in a recent New York Times article, “It’s not necessarily just living as long as possible.”

Please call the Burick Center at 717-730-9000 to learn more about how we can help you achieve a lifestyle of longevity through our Total Health Assessment, Impactful Therapies and Concierge Services.

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Burick Center Staff MemberTracy Koval

Office Manager

Tracy joined the Burick Center for Health & Wellness in June of 2016 to help patients by managing various aspects of the office. Tracy brings more than three decades of medical office experience as the former office manager of a multi-specialty group and also works on a part-time basis as a Patient Service Rep at a local urgent care center.

Tracy’s favorite part of working in a medical practice is the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life by helping them navigate through the maze of health care. She loves being part of the dynamic team at the Burick Center.

Tracy likes to spend time with her family. She has two sons, Mason, who is living and working in Philadelphia as a Sr. Analyst for a marketing firm, and Spencer, who works at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

Burick Center Staff MemberTom Baker

Strategy Officer

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Burick Center Staff MemberRena Geesaman

Patient Coordinator

Rena Geesaman is a Registered Medical Assistant who enjoys providing attentive and caring client service. She is very happy to be part of the Burick Center team where patient care is our number one focus.

Her goal is to do everything within her power to ensure every interaction leaves you feeling well cared for and perhaps even delighted.

Rena volunteers by serving as board treasurer for Carlisle Christian Academy. She also helps facilitate a program at River of God Church for single, pregnant girls which provides practical, emotional and spiritual support.

Outside of the office Rena enjoys hiking, traveling, tending to her flower beds, hosting meals on their back deck, enjoying time with dear friends, loving on her little dogs, and best of all spending time with family. Being fairly new grandparents, she and her husband Don are always happy to share pictures of their little grandson, Lucas. Feel free to ask! She considers herself amazingly blessed!

Burick Center Staff MemberDr. Peter Lu

Acupuncturist

Dr. Peter Lu trained and worked in New York City for 15 years and recently moved to central PA. He studied pre-med at Brooklyn College and attended medical school at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn. Thereafter he worked in the inner city hospitals of New York City, and lastly had the honor of caring for people with his sister in Stamford, Connecticut.

Dr. Lu greatly appreciates open lines of communication as it pertains to questions you may have about your ailment and how acupuncture could help in the healing process. His intention to address your needs to the best of his ability.

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Burick Center Staff MemberLee Morand

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Lee has had the sincere pleasure of working in the Greater Harrisburg area for over 20 years. She relocated to Harrisburg in 1990 after completing her undergraduate degree in Nutrition Pre-Med at Cornell University. Lee received her first Master’s Degree from Shippensburg University. Her second Master’s Degree, as well as Doctorate, were both from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

She uses a Cognitive-Behavioral approach to guide her work with clients across the lifespan. She strongly believes research has shown that changing your thoughts does change your life. Her primary focus with clients is to reduce symptoms by assisting clients to achieve skills they can utilize in their professional, academic, and personal lives.

Burick Center Staff MemberHeather Motter

LMT, Massage Therapist and Back Desk Coordinator

Heather Motter joined the Burick Center team in 2018. A graduate of YTI Career Institute, Heather prides herself on using her highly developed skills to maintain the balance between mind and body. As a licensed massage therapist, she specializes in Medical Massage, Lymphatic Drainage, Trigger Point Therapy, and Oncology Massage.

Heather has a vast amount of experience working with a variety of patients. From a simple relaxation massage to a patient dealing with chronic pain, Heather is able to facilitate treatments uniquely designed for each patient’s individual needs.

Heather insists that massage is not just a relaxation luxury. Instead, her philosophy is that massage helps lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle. She encourages everyone to take the time to meet with her to develop a care plan to enhance their overall wellness.

Heather is a resident of Carlisle, where she resides with her fiancé, two sons, and four dogs. When she’s not at work, she can be found outside working on her back yard oasis, or volunteering at Speranza Animal Rescue.

Burick Center Staff MemberFelicia Miller

Nutritionist

Felicia Miller is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist who provides nutritional counseling and education to patients of the Burick Center for Health & Wellness.

She takes the science of nutrition with her extensive knowledge of food and coaching skills to create an easy-to-follow actionable plan for her clients to follow.

Recognizing that there are multiple components to creating a successful wellness plan, she looks at the whole person – their concerns, lifestyle, personality, family, and career. Listening to her patients allows for Felicia to find the root cause of their issue and not simply the symptoms.

“Being healthy goes beyond diet, food is just one of the pillars of a happy, healthy person.” Felicia goes beyond the traditional diet education- she coaches and supports her patients as they learn how to make changes in their day-to-day life.

“I’m passionate about whole foods and healthy living I strive to inspire you to make positive food and lifestyle changes – at any age.”

Burick Center Staff MemberAshley Weibley

Registered Nurse

Ashley is a nurse at Burick Center for Health & Wellness. Her nursing philosophy is one of holistic care. She is a patient advocate committed to clear communication, education and applying critical thinking and decision-making skills to help patients achieve better outcomes. She enjoys providing the highest quality nursing care in a respectful, healing environment. She has a personal commitment to life-long learning through formal education and hands-on experience. She appreciates that compassion along with innovative care is what the Burick Center for Health & Wellness is all about.

Ashley has an Associate’s Degree from Harrisburg Area Community College and a Bachelors Degree from Penn State University.

She is married and has twin boys, She enjoys spending time with her friends, family and pets. She has owned and shown Quarter Horses all of her life and continues to compete in her spare time.