If you want to live longer, lean muscle mass might just be your best measurement to make sure you have a long life.
A 2014 UCLA study studied over 3,600 participants made up of men who were 55 and older, and women who were 65 and older. They found that all-cause mortality was significantly lower in participants who had more muscle mass.
“In other words, the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death,” said Dr. Arun Karlamangla, a professor in the geriatrics division at the Geffen School and the study’s co-author. “Thus, rather than worrying about weight or body mass index, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass.”
Though, a study of this nature cannot definitely establish a cause-and-effect relationship between muscle mass and longevity, it seems clear that if we want to live longer we need to focus on body composition.
A 2008 Study by Ruiz et al. (and others) looked at over 8000 participants to find out what affect strength and cardiorespiratory fitness has on healthy aging. They found (also correlative) that individuals who lacked strength were more likely to die of all causes and that there is even a correlative relationship to lack of strength and cancer.
A final key observation of this dataset was that regardless of strength, individuals with higher cardio-respiratory fitness had a greater life expectancy than low cardio-respiratory fitness counterparts.
This landmark study provided the first direct evidence that physical strength or the processes of developing strength is intrinsically linked to healthy aging.
If you didn’t previously have a reason to get strong, and build muscle—now you do!
How are your body composition goals going? Are you solely focused on losing weight to live a long healthy life, or are you also focusing on building muscle, strength, and cardio-respiratory fitness?
Shoot me a message if you have any questions!