Author: Greg Yau
Many think that cardio is the only form of exercise to improve your heart health, and that strength training is good only for building muscles. That is wrong. A study in March 2019 Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise looked at the exercise habits of around 13000 adults without cardiovascular diseases. And results show that those who completed at least an hour of weight training workout per week had a 40-70% lower risk of heart attack or stroke compared to those who did not (1). Strength training actually has numerous benefits for your heart health:
Improvements in circulation
By lifting weights and building muscle, you give your blood flow a boost, resulting in a more efficient circulation. This is because when lifting weights, your body needs to deliver oxygen to your muscles at a faster rate, thereby improving its blood vessel functions.
Reduces visceral fat
Visceral fat is the fat around your internal organs, like your heart. By lifting weights, you can effectively build lean muscle mass and reduce visceral fat mass, thereby reducing your risk of heart diseases (2).
Reduces risk of heart attack or stroke
With the reasons listed above, regular weight training undoubtedly reduces your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, as shown by a recent study by Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise (3). Read more about it on their website in the references section.