Why strength training is so good for your heart health
Running several times a week at a moderate pace has been considered the best medicine for our heart for decades. A study by Iowa State University now shows that even less than 60 minutes of strength training per week is just as good for your heart health.
Strength training is very healthy
For people who have little time, the best news is probably that the effort is kept within limits. 30 minutes of strength training twice a week or 20 minutes of strength training three times a week is enough to do a lot for heart health. If you want, you can, of course, train more often. Although it has no further positive influence on our important muscle in the chest, it does have many other positive effects.
The benefits for your heart health
Those who regularly lift weights can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke by up to 70 percent. The first positive effects on heart health can be seen after just two sets of bench presses. “It doesn’t even take more than five minutes,” says study leader Professor DC Lee from the University’s Institute of Kinesiology.
Positive effects are independent of aerobic training
Another exciting result of the study: The benefits of strength training on heart health are completely independent of aerobic training. So no one would have to run, swim or cycle in addition. But of course, it does no harm. Even the combination of strength and endurance sports is ideal. The long-term study, which has now been published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Activity, involved 13,000 adult volunteers.
More muscles have further positive effects
And the study showed even more: regular strength training is able to reduce the risk of diabetes and lower high cholesterol levels. This also means that 50 to 60 minutes of strength training reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome by 29 percent. Not to forget: Muscles are ideal for burning calories and of course they ensure healthy joints. Muscles improve our mobility and support any physical activity.
A good way to lose weight
Strong muscles also produce a hormone-like messenger substance called interleukin-6, which causes the stomach and hips to release free fatty acids as fuel. In this way, the unloved fat pads melt away. After strength training, the value of interleukin-6 increases a hundred times. Reasons enough to train your muscles regularly.