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WEIGHTLIFTING. GOOD FOR YOUR HEART IN A FEW MINUTES A WEEK

WEIGHTLIFTING. GOOD FOR YOUR HEART IN A FEW MINUTES A WEEK

We refer to ‘the heart of the matter’ for a good reason. Our bodies have all sorts of resilience and robustness, but heart health is critical to everything else. A healthy heart and circulation is essential for a long and active life.

Most of us know that heart health means the right food and enough cardio exercise. A new study has found that strength work can be just as good as cardio for your heart. Even better, only a few minutes a week may be all that is required.

WHAT HAS BEEN FOUND OUT?

Researchers in Iowa have been following 13,000 people over a period of nine years. Inevitably there have been deaths in the group during this time. The causes of death have been correlated against lifestyle and exercise to produce data on how weight training affects risk of heart problems.

The study found that weight lifting alone reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke by up to 70%.

CAN WEIGHLIFTING REALLY WORK WITHOUT CARDIO?

The results of the study say that the answer to this is ‘yes’. There was no apparent correlation between lowered cardiac risk and additional cardio on top of weights work. This is the first study to look into this.

HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO DO?

The study looked at gym workouts, but the researchers point out that any exercise creating muscle resistance has the same effect. It could be carrying the shopping or even digging over the garden. As long as you have to make an effort with the weight, that is enough.

Most importantly, it seems that just one hour a week of lifting is all that is needed. More weight time did not seem to reduce the cardiac risk further. Even two short bench press sessions of ten minutes had measurable benefits.

Do your heart, bones and muscles a favour. Even a few minutes working with weights can pay dividends now and in the future.

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

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