While it is popularly believed that aerobic exercises might be better for the heart than lifting weights or strength training, a new study featured in the 2018 American College of Cardiology Latin America Conference reveals exercises that build strength can benefit the heart more than aerobic activities.
A survey of 4000 adults concluded that static activity, such as strength training, had stronger links to reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases than dynamic activity, such as walking and cycling.
“Both strength training and aerobic activity appeared to be heart healthy, even in small amounts, at the population level,” says Dr Maia P. Smith, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at St. George’s University in Grenada. She continues, “While static activity appeared more beneficial than dynamic,” the findings also revealed that those who engaged in both kinds of activity “fared better” than those who just increased the amount of only one type.
Dr Smith and her colleagues sourced data for their research from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on 4,086 adults in the U.S.
This included information that individuals gave about types of physical activity they indulged in and whether or not they had any signs of cardiovascular risk factors – including high blood pressure, being overweight, having high cholesterol, and diabetes.
The team analyzed the cardiovascular risk factors against the type of activity and studied the relation between the two to conclude their study.
Aerobic activity includes walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, running, dancing and all kinds of sports such as tennis, badminton. On the other hand, push-ups, static rowing, resistance training, and shoulder dips are some examples of strength building exercises.