Recent Research Reveals Balanced Approach to Cardiovascular Health

New research conducted at Iowa State University reveals that allocating the recommended physical activity between aerobic and resistance exercise equally can substantially reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, equivalent to regimens solely focused on aerobic exercise. Cardiovascular disease contributes to one in three deaths in the United States, emphasizing the significance of preventive measures.

The study, one of the longest and largest exercise trials to date, included 406 participants aged 35 to 70, all meeting the criteria for being overweight or obese with elevated blood pressure. The participants were divided into four groups: no exercise, aerobic only, resistance only, or a combination of aerobic and resistance training. The supervised one-hour sessions occurred three times a week over the course of a year.

Results demonstrated that the combined exercise group, incorporating both cardio and strength training, achieved cardiovascular benefits comparable to those following aerobic-only routines. Notably, resistance exercise alone did not yield the same heart health advantages.

Lead author Duck-chul Lee, a kinesiology professor, emphasizes that the combined workout provides diversity for those bored with aerobic exercise or facing joint pain. Additionally, the study addresses the time constraint barrier, showing that the proposed dual exercise is not more time-consuming. The findings aim to inform clinical and public health practices, particularly for the substantial global population at increased cardiovascular disease risk due to overweight or obesity.

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