Research: Moderate Weightlifting Can Protect Your Heart
A study done by researchers at Iowa State University revealed that the heart can benefit from lifting weight for just a few minutes daily.
The research published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed that resistance training done for a longer duration does not necessarily offer more benefits to the heart. It revealed that lifting weights for a little over 30 minutes a week can cut the risk for heart attack or stroke by up to 70 percent.
Many people who know about the benefits of resistance training fail to engage in it. They find it less easy to do or include in their daily schedule, compared a cardio activity such as running. Besides, most people only have access to weight machines if they have a gym membership.
Findings from the study revealed that weightlifting does not need to be a difficult, draining exercise to be beneficial. People can still enjoy its benefits if they do not have weight machines by engaging in other forms of resistance training, the researchers said.
“People may think they need to spend a lot of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than 5 minutes could be effective,” researcher DC (Duck-chul) Lee said.
The associated professor of kinesiology explained that muscles do not know the difference between lifting a dumbbell and just carrying something heavy. Increase in resistance is all that matters.
The lower risk of cardiovascular disease that weightlifting promotes also does not depend on aerobic activity, according to the study. In other words, it is not compulsory that you engage in walking, running or another aerobic activity to get the benefit.
Enhances your heart and health
Most research have focused on the ability of weightlifting to promote benefits such as improved physical function and better bone health. Lee and his team found that it can also be useful for enhancing heart health, among other benefits.
The researchers evaluated the data of roughly 13,000 adult subjects in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. They used the data to assess three health outcomes.
Among the outcomes were cardiovascular events – for example, heart attack or stroke – that did not lead to death. The others were cardiovascular events that included death and any type of death.
Lee and his colleagues found that weightlifting reduced the risk for all three health outcomes among subjects.
They also examined the relationship that resistance exercise has with diabetes and hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). Weightlifting reduced the risk for the two disorders.
It does not have to take much time
What some people might find more exciting about the study is the conclusion that doing resistance exercise for just a few minutes each day could be all that is needed.
Researchers found that people who engaged in resistance exercise for less than an hour each week reduced their risk of having metabolic syndrome by 29 percent, compared to those who had no resistance exercise. This group of conditions increases a person’s risk of having heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
The risk for high blood cholesterol was also lower by 32 percent among the subjects who did resistance training.
The observed benefits in the studies were not subject to aerobic exercise. Weight training alone was all that was needed.
Lee noted that muscles are what help the body to burn calories. Resistance training helps to build muscles, with this helping to promote a variety of benefits.
“If you build muscle, even if you’re not aerobically active, you burn more energy because you have more muscle,” he explained.
The metabolic effects which weightlifting promotes can help to check obesity and several other health disorders.