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Photo: Stocksy/Bo Bo

While many fitness-related activities benefit your body, especially as you age, one in particular is said to make a difference in your well-being: pumping iron.

According to a new study published in the journal Obesity, an effective way to prevent weight gain and preserve muscle mass over the years is to add weights into your routine. While all the participants in the study lost weight by cutting calories, those who weight-trained rather than solely walked (or didn’t exercise at all) displayed the best results: At the end of the study period, the walkers had dropped 4 pounds of muscle and 16 pounds of fat while weight-trainers lost 2 pounds of muscle and 18 pounds of fat.

“Walking is excellent exercise. But it looks as if it might not produce enough of an anabolic signal to really spare muscle mass during weight loss,” —Kristen M. Beavers, PhD

“Walking is excellent exercise,” lead study author Kristen M. Beavers, PhD, told The New York Times. “But it looks as if it might not produce enough of an anabolic signal to really spare muscle mass during weight loss.”

So, sure, walking is great—but weight-training is simply better for helping you cling to muscle mass as you age. Incorporating iron-pumping reps into your routine will help you see impressive results and stay strong as you get older.

Here’s why so many people are posting pictures of themselves replacing weights with dogs. Also, this is why yogis are adding weights into their routines.