Don't Skip the Weights: Just Minutes a Week Can Improve Heart Health

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Lifting weights for less than an hour a week can cut your risk of heart attack or stroke by up to 70 percent, according to a study from Iowa State University. Study results also suggest strength training benefits aren’t associated with aerobic fitness levels, and that spending more time lifting doesn’t decrease heart risks further.

The Iowa State researchers analyzed data involving about 13,000 adults in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, measuring three health outcomes:

  • Non-fatal cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke
  • Fatal cardiovascular events
  • Deaths from any cause

The researchers found that strength training exercise lowers the risk for each of these outcomes. In addition to weightlifting, daily activities like carrying heavy grocery bags or boxes, shoveling, and digging in the garden, as well as recreational activities such as biking and kayaking can strengthen muscles and reduce heart attack and stroke risk.

Sourced from: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise