Muscles Rule—and Help You Live Longer, Study Says

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Need a reason to pump some iron this weekend? How about this: New research shows that having muscle tone could lengthen your life.


More specifically, in older study subjects, researchers found that the more muscles they had, the lower their risk of death. A team at UCLA did the legwork, analyzing data from more than 3,600 older adults who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1988 and 1994. The men in the study were over age 55 and the women over age 65.

Listen to this, from HealthDay:

The investigators used a follow-up survey done in 2004 to determine how many of the participants had died of natural causes and how muscle mass was related to death risk. People with the highest levels of muscle mass were significantly less likely to have died than those with the lowest levels of muscle mass.

"In other words, the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death," study co-author Dr. Arun Karlamangla, an associate professor in the geriatrics division at University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "Thus, rather than worrying about weight or body mass index, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass."

Cool, right? I know more than a few trainers who would heartily agree that body weight is less important than muscle mass. So if you're looking to ramp up your muscle meat, check out our BeWOW workout archive, which has tons of options for the taking.

Here are a few of my favorites:

» The 500-Rep Challenge

» The Ultimate 30-Minute Workout

» The 30:30 Challenge

» Conditioning-Ladder Workout

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