Sit-ups for a longer life?

Push-ups, sit-ups, planks and other strengthening exercises potentially add years to your life, especially alongside a regular aerobic exercise routine, new research shows.

Research led by the University of Sydney found people who did strength-based exercise, as well as cardio, had a 23 per cent reduction in risk of premature death by any means, and a 31 per cent reduction in cancer-related death, a university press release says.

Muscular strength is potentially just as important for health as aerobic activities, such as jogging or cycling, according to lead author Emmanuel Stamatakis.

The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, collected data from UK health surveys of more than 80,000 adults over 14 years.

The Ministry of Health recommends New Zealand adults do at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate or one-and-a-quarter hours of vigorous physical activity spread throughout the week, plus muscle strengthening activities on at least two days.

First published: November 2017

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