Strength Training Tops Cardio for Heart Health? New Study Says It Does

Conventional wisdom has long held that running and aerobic exercise is better for heart health than weightlifting.

But a new study says that’s not so.

Scientists looked at health records of 4,000 people. They concluded that, while both forms of exercise lower the risk of heart disease, weightlifting has a greater effect than running, walking or cycling, as reported in publications including the British Telegraph. The study also supports earlier views that weightlifting is better for the circulatory system because the “oxygen expenditure” is more intense.

Any exercise is good, of course. And weightlifting (or resistance training) also has other health benefits for people over 60. For example, it helps improve functional independence. Here are some of those benefits, accumulated by RunRepeat, which reviews all kinds of athletic footwear.

  • Improved balance while still and while moving
  • Better neuromuscular functioning for control and balance
  • Protection from age-related declines in neuromuscular functioning
  • Improved flexibility and joint movement
  • Improvement in front hip flexion
  • Better movement in step length, speed and balance
  • Less fear of falling

In day-to-day life, all this means that strength training helps us move easier and more gracefully. This improved strength shows up in daily functions like climbing stairs and getting out of chairs. All adults lose muscle mass as we get older – unless we train to minimize that loss.

“The science is clear,” RunRepeat says. “Weightlifting will help reduce tons of risk factors for falls, improve functional independence, functional capacity, and quality of life.”

In short, it’s a necessity for people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond.  Hope to see you in class this week to ensure you get these functional benefits from resistance training.

Reminder: No Class on Family Day Monday!  Check your inboxes later tomorrow for this week’s class schedule!

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