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Strength training better for heart health

bearded man working out with dumbells in the gym

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Physical activity in general is beneficial for heart health, however new research has confirmed that static activities such as strength training may be more strongly associated with reducing cardiovascular disease than dynamic activities like walking and cycling.

Participants who did both kinds of activities also fared better than patients who simply increased the level of one kind of activity.

The researchers used data of 4086 American adults from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They analysed cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, overweight, diabetes and high cholesterol as a function of self-reported static and/or dynamic activity (strength training or walking/biking). The researchers then adjusted the data for age, ethnicity, gender and smoking and grouped it by age — 21 to 44 years old or 45 years and older.

The researchers found that in total, 36 per cent of the younger and 25 per cent of the older adults engaged in a static activity, while 28 per cent of the younger and 21 per cent of the older adults participated in a dynamic activity. Both types of activities were associated with 30 to 70 per cent lower rates of cardiovascular disease risk factors. However, the strongest association was seen for static activity and in youth. Participants who did both kinds of activities also fared better than patients who simply increased the level of one kind of activity (static or dynamic).

The researchers recommend that everyone should engage in any kind of physical activity for their health and wellbeing. Both static and dynamic activities seem to be popular with younger adults as well as older people, and both types of activities have been found to have a positive impact on your heart health. However, static activity seems to be more beneficial than dynamic activity in reducing your risk of heart disease.

Source: American College of Cardiology


Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!