March 2, 2024
Decreasing risk with strength training added to cardio

Decreasing risk with strength training added to cardio

Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, cycling, or swimming, has long been known to be important for heart health. It helps to improve circulation, lower blood pressure, and maintain a healthy weight. However, recent research indicates that adding strength training to your fitness regimen may also have substantial benefits for heart health. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that combining both types of exercise may be particularly effective at reducing the risk of heart disease.

The study, which was conducted at the University of Michigan, followed 4,000 adults for 11 years. The participants were divided into three groups: those who only did cardio, those who only did strength training, and those who did both. The results showed that the group that did both types of exercise had a 29% lower risk of heart disease compared to those who only did cardio and a 40% lower risk compared to those who only did strength training.

The findings were particularly significant because they demonstrate the importance of incorporating a variety of exercises into your fitness routine. While cardio is important for improving cardiovascular health, strength training has the added benefit of improving muscle mass, bone density, and metabolism. These benefits, in turn, can reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.

So, how exactly does strength training lower the risk of heart disease? One possible explanation is that it can help to lower blood pressure. Multiple studies have shown that strength training can have a significant impact on reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure, both of which are important risk factors for heart disease. In fact, a review published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that strength training can reduce systolic blood pressure by 3-5 mmHg, which is similar to the effects of some medications.

Moreover, strength training can also improve blood lipid levels, another important factor in heart health. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that individuals who engaged in regular strength training had lower levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and higher levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). These changes can help to reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which is a major cause of heart disease.

In addition to its direct effects on heart health, strength training can also lower the risk of other conditions that are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, such as obesity and diabetes. Research has shown that strength training can improve insulin sensitivity, reduce body fat, and increase muscle mass, all of which can help to prevent these conditions from developing.

Furthermore, strength training may have specific benefits for those who already have heart disease or are at risk for it. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that individuals with heart disease who engaged in regular strength training had a 23% lower risk of mortality compared to those who did not. This suggests that strength training may be particularly important for individuals with existing heart problems, as it can help to improve their overall prognosis and quality of life.

So, how can you incorporate strength training into your fitness routine to lower your risk of heart disease? The American Heart Association recommends incorporating strength training at least two days per week, in addition to at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio exercise per week.

There are many different ways to incorporate strength training into your routine. You can use free weights, resistance bands, or machines at the gym, or you can do bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, squats, and lunges at home. It’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to avoid injury. A certified trainer or physical therapist can help you develop a safe and effective strength training program that meets your individual needs and goals.

In conclusion, adding strength training to your cardio routine may have substantial benefits for heart health. Research has shown that it can lower blood pressure, improve blood lipid levels, and reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes, all of which can lower the risk of heart disease. Moreover, strength training may be particularly important for individuals with existing heart problems, as it can improve their overall prognosis and quality of life. By incorporating a variety of exercises into your fitness routine, you can maximize the benefits for your heart and overall health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *