Senior man and woman arms outstretched holding small hand weights to build muscle.

MAILBAG: Cardio or Strength for Healthy Aging?

Is cardio or strength training more important for seniors?

– Bill, from Irving, TX

Hi Bill,

Typically, my answer to this question is simple: they’re BOTH vital for healthy aging.

But if pushed, I’d have to say that maintaining muscle mass with strength training is THE most critical factor for aging adults.

Maintaining Strength is VITAL for Healthy Aging

There are a few reasons for that.

  • Muscle mass is the key to maintaining or losing weight. Most of your metabolism is determined by how much you have. You see, muscles burn more energy than anything else in your body. Want a higher metabolism? Get more muscle.
  • Waning strength is associated with a risk of premature death, the development of cardiovascular disease, and fractures in older adults.
  • The more muscle mass you have, the higher your bone density is.
  • Muscle mass is strongly correlated with blood sugar control.

And in yesterday’s edition of Living Well Daily, I explained the link between waning strength and the development of dementia. If you missed that issue, CLICK HERE to catch up.

Some folks can maintain strength by doing cardio workouts alone, while others require strength training.

The best way to figure out which camp YOU fall into is to get a scale that measures muscle mass. And then, make sure you maintain what you have and see if you can increase it.

Body composition scales use safe electrical impulses to make measurements. They aren’t 100 percent accurate, but they can help give you a good ballpark figure.

Measuring your waistline is another way to determine if your body fat percentage is too high. For women, your risk of heart disease and diabetes increases if your waist measures over 35 inches. Men, when your waist passes 40 inches, you, too, are at a higher risk.

P.S. Studies show that losing too much muscle can shave years off your life. But maintaining your strength will help you live LONGER and BETTER. And researchers have uncovered a powerful “no sweat” tool that can help folks do just that.


Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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