The lesson here? Actually being strong means a lot (and I do mean A LOT) more than simply adhering to the government’s guidelines for doing muscle strengthening activities. A middle-aged adult who is actually strong has a 77% lower risk of death from any cause during the subsequent 10 years compared to someone who’s not strong. If you’re worried about strength training making you “too bulky,” but not thinking about actually staying alive, you might want to reorient yourself.

Further analyses revealed that individuals in the top quartile for LES who also met MSA and moderate to vigorous physical activity guidelines were at even further reduced risk for premature all-cause mortality (HR=0.23; 95% CI, 0.08-0.61; P=.005). Conclusion: These results demonstrate that muscle strength seems to be more important than the behavioral participation in MSA for reducing the risk of premature all-cause mortality.

Source: Determining the Importance of Meeting Muscle-Strengthening Activity Guidelines – Mayo Clinic Proceedings