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Enhancing Heart Health: The Synergy of Cardio and Strength Training

Jan 25, 2024
Blending cardiovascular exercises with strength training could potentially lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This approach integrates the benefits of both workout types, offering a comprehensive fitness regimen that addresses heart health.
Homed-Enhancing Heart Health: The Synergy of Cardio and Strength Training

Mixing Strength and Cardio

Cardiovascular Disease and Exercise: A New Perspective

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) claim about one-third of lives in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. A groundbreaking study now shows that a mix of aerobic and resistance training can reduce CVD risks, matching the effectiveness of only aerobic exercise. The European Heart Journal recently published these findings.

Iowa State University’s Innovative Research

The research team at Iowa State University monitored 406 individuals aged 35 to 70 over a year. These participants, with high blood pressure and BMIs from 25-40 kg/m2, fell into overweight or obese categories. The team divided them into four exercise groups: none, only aerobic, only resistance, and a mix of aerobic and resistance.

The Approach to Exercise and Health Monitoring

Participants in the exercise groups undertook supervised, hour-long workouts thrice a week for a year. These sessions were tailored to their health needs, incorporating specific weight training and heart-rate checks. The team tracked key CVD risk factors at the start, mid-point, and end of the study.

Key Findings: Benefits of Combined Exercise

Those in aerobic and mixed exercise groups had the lowest risk factor scores, with the mixed group showing better aerobic fitness and strength. Prof. Duck-chul Lee, Ph.D., from Iowa State University, emphasized in a release that mixing aerobic with strength training can give similar heart benefits and also improve muscle health.

Expert Recommendations on Exercise Amounts

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of intense aerobic exercise weekly, plus muscle-strengthening activities. Dr. Rigved Tadwalkar, a cardiologist, suggests balancing aerobic and resistance training based on this study. Dr. Cheng-Han Chen, an interventional cardiologist, advises starting gradually with these exercises for a consistent routine.

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Mixing Strength and Cardio

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