Lift­ing weights pro­tects heart

South Shore Breaker - - Health & Wellness - DR. COLIN MACLEOD, ND HEALTH, NAT­U­RALLY [email protected]­col­in­

Lift­ing weights for less than one hour per week could re­duce your risk of heart at­tack and stroke by 40 to 70 per cent, ac­cord­ing to new re­search pub­lished in the jour­nal Medicine & Science in Sports & Ex­er­cise.

This re­search found that less than one hour of lift­ing weights per week had a sig­nif­i­cant pro­tec­tive ef­fect on long-term car­dio­vas­cu­lar health.

How­ever, lift­ing weights for more than one hour didn’t seem to lower the risk of stroke or heart at­tack any fur­ther.

The study found that the ben­e­fits gained by re­sis­tance ex­er­cises are in­de­pen­dent of those gained from aer­o­bic ex­er­cise. This means that the ben­e­fits from strength train­ing were in ad­di­tion to any health ben­e­fits gained from do­ing aer­o­bic ex­er­cises like run­ning, bik­ing or swim­ming. So, even if you are a run­ner who hits the road ev­ery day, you could still boost your health sig­nif­i­cantly with an hour of re­sis­tance ex­er­cise per week.

This study fol­lowed 13,000 par­tic­i­pants for more than 10 years and tracked three car­dio­vas­cu­lar health out­comes: heart at­tack and stroke that did not re­sult in death, all car­dio­vas­cu­lar events in­clud­ing death and any type of death. The re­sults showed that re­sis­tance ex­er­cise low­ered the risk of all three of these out­comes by 40 to 70 per cent. The au­thors noted that the amount of re­sis­tance ex­er­cise to at­tain these ben­e­fits was fairly small at an hour or less per week.

“Peo­ple may think they need to spend a lot of time lift­ing weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than five min­utes could be ef­fec­tive,” said Duck-chul Lee, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of ki­ne­si­ol­ogy.

While vis­it­ing a gym is an ex­cel­lent way to ac­cess re­sis­tance ex­er­cises equip­ment, you don’t need a gym mem­ber­ship to be able to get in a good re­sis­tance work­out. Your oc­cu­pa­tion or work around the home could po­ten­tially give you a good amount of re­sis­tance ex­er­cise if you are lift­ing and/or mov­ing around enough weight.

“Lift­ing any weight that in­creases re­sis­tance on your mus­cles is the key,” Lee said. “My mus­cle doesn’t know the dif­fer­ence if I’m dig­ging in the yard, car­ry­ing heavy shop­ping bags or lift­ing a dumb­bell.”

While over the years a large body of re­search has made it clear that aer­o­bic ex­er­cise pro­tects the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem, this new re­search has shed sig­nif­i­cant light on the ad­di­tional ben­e­fits of re­sis­tance ex­er­cise. A 30-minute ses­sion of re­sis­tance ex­er­cise two times per week is enough to at­tain the sig­nif­i­cant health ben­e­fits dis­cov­ered in this study. Good ex­am­ples of re­sis­tance ex­er­cise in­cludes squats, leg press, bench press, pushups, mil­i­tary press, pullups, dumb­bell curls, dead­lifts, shov­el­ling and car­ry­ing weighted items (bags, boxes, etc.)

If you have ques­tions about your long-term health and fit­ness, ask your natur­o­pathic doc­tor.


A new study has found that do­ing less than one hour of lift­ing weights per week can help re­duce a per­son’s risk of heart at­tack and stroke by 40 to 70 per cent.

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