Cardio vs. strength training: What is better for heart health?
When it comes to heart health, cardiovascular exercises are always preferred over strength training. Cardio is a form of aerobic exercise during which our body utilises more oxygen as our heart rate spikes up. This helps to increase your lung capacity and strengthen the heart muscles.
Strength training is considered more about strengthening bones and muscles. People trying to get a toned body or bulk up often try weight lifting. But a recent study disagrees with the common notion that cardio is better for heart health as compared to strength training.
As per a study, performing strength training exercises are as beneficial as cardio for heart health. The study published in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise in 2019, people who did strength training exercises at least an hour per week had a 40 per cent to 70 per cent lower risk of heart attack or stroke compared with those who did not exercise. Before reaching this conclusion, the researchers examined the exercise habits of almost 13,000 adults, belonging to average age 47. All these volunteers at the time of the study were not suffering from any kind of cardiovascular issues.
Strength training and Heart health
The researches found out that it does not matter if a person worked out once, twice or thrice a day as long as they completed the target of exercising 150 minutes per week. They also concluded that exercising for more than an hour per week also does not have any additional effect on an individual's heart health.
Other studies linking heart health with weight lifting
This is not the only study, which established the link between heart health and weight lifting. In the past, there have a number of studies that have outlined the link between weight lifting and heart health. As per a study, weight lifting actually reduces the kind of fat from the body that is linked with cardiovascular problems. These fats are present deep inside the tissue around the organs and strength training works better to get rid of those fat.
Other advantages of strength training
Weight lifting is not only beneficial for your heart and muscle but has numerous other health benefits. As per research published in June 2017, performing strength training exercises even for an hour in a week can reduce the risk of developing metabolic disorders by 17 per cent. Metabolic disorders include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and diabetes.
What is better for heart
For better health, your exercise routine should comprise both cardio and strength training exercises. A balanced mix of both exercises can help you improve overall health.