Although many people opt to practice cardio at the gym because of its cardiovascular benefits, did you know that if you don’t want to run long distances or bike on an endless trail, weightlifting may be the ideal choice for you?

Research has shown that weight training equipment such as dumbbells and barbells can be used to help maintain a healthy heart. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests doing strength or resistance training at least twice a week, as well as 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Lifting weights has a number of heart-health benefits, including lowering your risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, and stroke.

Lifting Increases Lean Muscle Mass

Strength training increases lean muscle mass, giving your cardiovascular system new places to send the blood it pumps. Lifting weights for less than an hour per week may reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70 percent, according to a 2018 study from Iowa State University published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

These advantages are obtained by lifting weights on a regular basis, even if you do not engage in aerobic exercise such as biking, swimming, or running. Even if you are not a regular aerobically active person, building lean muscle causes you to burn more calories throughout the day, and burning more calories aids in the development of more lean muscle mass, providing long-term benefits to not only your heart health but your physical wellbeing.

Helps Improve Quality of Sleep

Lifting weights can improve your sleep quality. Better sleep from a healthy cardiovascular system, helps you fall and stay asleep which over time can improve your quality of life as you feel more refreshed, alert, and less stressed. Researchers in a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research completed moderate-intensity strength-based workouts at various times of the day and used sleep trackers to track their sleep quality every evening. Subjects who lifted weights first thing in the morning fell asleep 45 minutes faster. Lifting weights in the evening increased the quality of one’s sleep as well.

What’s more, sleep deprivation has been documented as causing an increase in inflammation throughout the body, which is taxing on the cardiovascular system. Research also shows that reduced insulin sensitivity, lipid metabolism, and visceral fat storage have all been associated with restless nights, all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Weight Training Lowers Belly Fat

Belly fat, according to the American Heart Association significantly raises heart attack risks for even people with a healthy BMI. Too much fat around the abdomen increases the risk for heart disease because the type of fat that is known as belly fat is called visceral fat, which also attaches itself to internal organs.

Recent research has identified abdominal obesity, as measured by waist circumference, as a cardiovascular disease risk sign irrespective of BMI. Imaging methods for evaluating body composition, particularly visceral fattiness, have also advanced significantly. Excess visceral fat has been linked to worse cardiovascular outcomes in studies that measure fat depots, including ectopic fat. Lifting weights daily will help you shed belly fat and increase lean muscle mass. By decreasing belly fat, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and possibly sudden death.

Body and Way of Life Fitness

Building a solid cardiovascular foundation not only burns fat, but also decreases cholesterol and blood pressure, which lowers your risk of heart attack or another cardiovascular disease. Our personal trainers at Body and Way of Life Fitness can provide full-body strength training sessions that will provide long-term advantages to your body, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and improve your overall quality of life. Begin now.