February 18, 2024

Can Resistance Training Help Reduce Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease?

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals a concerning statistic: one out of every five deaths in the United States is attributed to heart disease. This health issue is closely linked to physical inactivity, making it a significant risk factor. While many individuals believe that cardio exercises are the primary solution for promoting heart health, a recent scientific statement from the American Heart Association challenges this notion.

According to the association, resistance training, commonly known as strength or weight training, is deemed at least as safe as aerobic exercise for individuals with heart disease and other health conditions. Moreover, for the majority of people, resistance training can offer comparable or additional benefits in reducing risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. This suggests that incorporating resistance training into one’s fitness routine may be an effective strategy to mitigate the risks of heart-related issues.

In essence, the American Heart Association’s statement emphasizes the importance of diversifying exercise routines to include resistance training, highlighting its safety and potential for enhancing cardiovascular health. This insight opens up new avenues for individuals seeking comprehensive approaches to reduce their susceptibility to heart disease.

What does the 2023 American Heart Association (AHA) statement reveal for people with cardiovascular disease?

The 2023 update became crucial due to the growing evidence associating resistance training with reduced heart disease risk. It brought in additional insights into resistance training’s impact on emerging heart disease factors like sleep, mood, and blood vessel flexibility. Our seasoned healthcare professionals at the heart care center in Goodyear are well-equipped to guide patients with a comprehensive plan to initiate and sustain resistance training. This tailored approach aims to address novel risk factors, ensuring a holistic strategy for heart health. 

Key findings

In 2007, and probably still true today, not everyone knew that resistance training is good for the heart. Lots of research says it’s as safe as walking or biking, whether you have heart issues or not. People who do resistance training have about 15% lower risk of dying and 17% lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t.

It’s not just about the usual heart risk stuff like cholesterol and blood pressure. Resistance training also helps with different things like sleep, mood, and how your blood vessels work. For older folks with diabetes, it brings down average blood sugar levels. And if you’re over 40 and healthy, it can lower your blood pressure by a few units. The effect is even bigger if your blood pressure is already high.

It’s not just about the physical side either. Doing resistance training gives a medium-sized boost to how people rate their mental and physical health. And there’s a 2%-3% increase in how well your blood vessels react. This matters because it means your body can get blood and nutrients where they’re needed. When your vessels don’t react well, it’s an early sign of heart issues.

So, in a nutshell, lifting weights or doing resistance exercises isn’t just about getting muscles. It’s a solid way to keep your heart healthy, improve your mood, sleep better, and make sure your blood vessels work like they should. It’s a win-win for your body.

For more details, get in touch with the best doctors at heart care center in Goodyear.

What does the AHA recommend? Does it prescribe resistance training for cardiovascular health progression?

Resistance training, done twice a week, can bring you maximum benefits. You’d want to do 1-3 sets of about 8-10 different exercises, covering all your muscle groups. Keep each exercise to 8-12 repetitions for most people.

Back in 2007, and even today, not everyone knew that resistance training is excellent for heart health. Numerous studies show it’s as safe as aerobic exercises like walking or biking, suitable for both those with and without heart disease. You can get a full workout in just 15 minutes.

Starting with lighter weights is perfectly fine. Choose weights that tire your muscles without making them fail by the last rep. Simple items like canned goods or milk jugs filled with water can work as dumbbells. You don’t need fancy equipment; body weight is effective too.

When lifting weights, shift to heavier ones when you can manage two or more reps for a couple of workouts before muscle fatigue. After a few months of resistance training, experiment with shorter rest intervals for increased intensity. Allow 1-2 days of rest between workouts for nerve and muscle adaptations.

Incorporate variety and progression. The goal is to keep things challenging but safe. Your resistance training journey doesn’t demand a gym membership or expensive gear. It’s about consistency and gradual advancement. Whether with dumbbells or body weight, make it a habit for a healthier you.

Get in touch with the cardiac care center in Goodyear for more details.

Comparative study: resistance training vs. aerobic training, vs. combined training 

Optimal heart health is achievable through a smart combination of exercise. Both aerobic and resistance training individually provide benefits, and when done together, their effects can be even greater. If time constraints arise, choosing one type of exercise is still better than none.

When it comes to improving blood pressure and lipids, both aerobic and resistance training show comparable results. However, for enhancing blood glucose levels, a combination of both types of training appears to be the most beneficial, with aerobic training following closely.

For body composition improvements, resistance training leads to increased lean body mass, while aerobic training is more effective in reducing fat mass. The best of both worlds is found in combination training, yielding overall positive changes.

If weight management is a goal, combination training seems to be the winner, resulting in an approximate 4.4-pound weight loss. Aerobic training contributes to about a 2.8-pound decrease, while resistance training alone doesn’t significantly impact weight. Interestingly, when resistance training is paired with aerobic exercise, weight maintenance is facilitated, possibly due to increased metabolic rate, fat oxidation, or lean mass preservation. In summary, any exercise is beneficial, and choosing the one you enjoy most is key, but combining aerobic and resistance training offers a holistic approach to optimal health.

Who should not do resistance training?

Resistance training isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and it’s important to know if it’s the right fit for you. If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, whether it’s systemic or pulmonary, or if you’re dealing with unstable heart disease, arrhythmias, aortic dissection, or Marfan syndrome, it’s generally not recommended. The same goes for individuals with diabetes, controlled high blood pressure, pacemakers or defibrillators, a history of stroke, clinically low exercise capacity, musculoskeletal issues, or those who are pregnant. 

Before diving into a resistance training program, it’s crucial to consult with your doctor to ensure it aligns with your health status. This precautionary step is also relevant for individuals with various health conditions, helping them make informed decisions about incorporating resistance training into their fitness routine.

Make sure to visit the reputed cardiac care center in Goodyear where you can find a team of experienced doctors available to clarify your queries.

The Bottom Line

Improving heart health doesn’t hinge on a specific type of exercise. Any physical activity can boost cardiovascular fitness and lower the risk of heart-related issues. If walking, running, or cycling isn’t your preference, recent studies indicate that blending weightlifting and repetitive exercises can be just as effective. 

The key is finding a mix that suits your liking while promoting a healthy heart. This flexibility in approach empowers individuals to tailor their fitness routines, making them more accessible and enjoyable. The consensus is clear – diverse physical activities contribute to a healthier heart, emphasizing that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to cardiovascular well-being. Visit Advanced CV Center in Goodyear & Buckeye.