Are you tired of the same old treadmill or exercise bike routine? If you’re looking for a way to add variety to your workouts while improving your heart health, consider incorporating some strength training into your exercise regimen. A new study led by Duck-chul Lee, a professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University, suggests that splitting your exercise routine between aerobic and resistance training can provide significant cardiovascular benefits.
What the Study Found
The study, published in the European Heart Journal, followed over 400 participants aged 35 to 70 for a year. All participants were either overweight or obese and had high blood pressure.
They were divided into four groups: one focused solely on resistance exercises, another on aerobic exercises, a third on a combination of both, and a fourth group that did not exercise at all.
The results showed that both the aerobic-only and combined exercise groups experienced improvements in heart health compared to the non-exercise group.
The Benefits of the Combined Approach
Adding strength training to your workout routine not only reduces the risk of heart disease but also offers additional health benefits. This approach can provide variety for those who may be bored with traditional aerobic exercises or have joint pain that makes high-impact activities challenging.
Incorporating Resistance Training
Resistance exercises can include a variety of activities such as:
- Weightlifting: Using free weights or weight machines to build muscle strength.
- Resistance Bands: These bands provide resistance in various directions and can be used for a range of exercises.
- Bodyweight Exercises: Exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks use your body weight for resistance.
The Importance of Regular Physical Activity
Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining heart health, especially for individuals who are overweight or obese.
Finding a balance between aerobic and resistance training that works for your body and fits into your schedule is key.
Even small changes, like incorporating a few days of strength training into your weekly routine, can make a significant difference in your overall health.
Exercises for a Healthy Heart
In addition to aerobic exercises like walking, running, or cycling, here are some resistance exercises that are good for your heart: