Even a Little Weightlifting Great for Health
In a first of its kind evaluation, scientists have determined that resistance exercise, like lifting weights, may offer profound health benefits, particularly for the heart.
For this evaluation, researchers closely followed the exercise habits and health status of 13,000 adults as part of the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. Study subjects who lifted weights using either weight machines or free weights for as little as an hour or less over the week experienced the following health benefits relative to study subjects that did no weightlifting:
· A 40 – 70 percent reduction in the risk of heart attacks and strokes. (That’s more than aerobic exercise can claim!)
· A 29 percent reduction in metabolic syndrome
· A 32 percent reduction in high cholesterol
The lead researcher noted that benefits were noted from as little as a few minutes of resistance exercise
twice a week. What’s more, the benefits were independent of aerobic activity. Keep in mind that going to the gym is not required—lifestyle-related lifting, pushing and pulling (lifting grocery bags, shoveling snow, etc.) as well as yoga, bands, and Pilates count as resistance activity as well.
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