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Weightlifting can be good for your heart: Study

WASHINGTON: Lift weight less than an hour a week can reduce the risk of myocardial infarction or stroke by 40…

WASHINGTON: Lift weight less than an hour a week can reduce the risk of myocardial infarction or stroke by 40 to 70 percent, a study has found.

The research at Iowa State University (ISU) in the United States also showed that spending more than one hour in the weight room did not give any further benefit.

“People may think they need to spend a lot of time, but only two sets of bench presses that take less than 5 minutes can be effective,” said Duck-Chul Lee, ISU’s lecturer.

The results – some of the first ones looking at exercise and cardiovascular disease – show benefits of weight training are independent of running, walking or other aerobic activity.

In other words, you do not need to meet the recommended guidelines for aerobic physical activity to reduce the risk. Important exercise alone is enough.

Researchers analyzed data of almost 1

3,000 adults. They met three health outcomes: cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke that did not result in death, all cardiovascular events including death and some type of death. Resistance exercise reduced the risk of all three.

Much of the research on strength training has focused on bone health, physical function and quality of life in older adults.

When it comes to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, most people like driving or other cardiac activity. Lee said that weight lifting is just as good for your heart, and there are other benefits.

With the same dataset, researchers looked at the relationship between exercise and diabetes as well as hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol.

Less than an hour of weekly resistance exercise was associated with a 29 percent lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

The risk of hypercholesterolemia was 32 percent lower. The results for both studies were also independent of aerobic exercise.

“Muscle is the power plant for burning calories. Building muscles helps move your joints and legs, but there are also metabolic benefits. I do not think this is appreciated,” Lee said.

“If you build muscle, even if you are not aerobically active, you burn more energy because you have more muscle. It also helps to prevent overweight and provide long-term benefits to different health outcomes,” he says.

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