Even though I’ve always been a staunch advocate of anaerobic training and have stressed this in many posts, “experts”, for a long time, have said you had to do aerobic exercise for heart health, and strength training to protect your muscles and bones.
Well, new research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that even if you do no “cardio” pumping iron will strengthen your most important muscle – your heart – and protect you from having a cardiovascular event like a heart attack or stroke, or even dying from it.
For the study, researchers went through survey and medical data from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, which included 12,591 men and women with an average age of 47. The participants had completed extensive lifestyle and exercise surveys and come into the Cooper Clinic for at least two preventive health examinations between 1987 and 2006.
After crunching the data, the researchers found that even a little bit of strength training went a long way for preventing heart disease. They found that as little as one session a week, or less than an hour of pumping iron, cut the participant’s risk of heart disease and dying from cardiovascular events by 40 to 70 percent, even if they didn’t get the recommended amount of aerobic exercise every week.
Strength training was also linked to a lower body mass index (BMI), which is also associated with better heart health.
Although it is claimed that more research is needed to back up these findings, I think such research already exists.
The data for the conclusions put forth go back to 1987 – 2006.
If you are interested in a detailed scientific study, I strongly recommend that you read:
Body by Science was published in 2009.
I have suggested this in previous posts and wrote about “Super Slow” training in February 16, 2015.
So the superiority of resistance training has been known for quite some time.
When it comes to aerobic training, I’ll summarize what I’ve said many times in the past:
- Walking is a good thing to do; even a 20-minute walk increases the “happy” hormones in your brain and makes you feel good.
- Don’t let your heart rate go above (220-your age) X 0.85, so that your body won’t produce free radicals. (Its (226-your age) X 0.85 for women. In other words, don’t jog but walk.
Walking is good, but its not training. I suggest that you seriously look into resistance training if you want to strengthen your bones, improve your body composition, manage blood sugar, and maintain cardiovascular health.
For those of you with physical problems, like a bad shoulder, or back, or spine, etc., I strongly recommend Super Slow training. This is done under the supervision of trained personnel so that your injury will heal, or at least get better, and not worse.
That’s it for now; see you all the next time.