Heart health: Weightlifting strengthens heart quite as good as running


Move over, cardio exercises – there may be an easier way to strengthen your heart.

Whether it’s shaking your booty in Zumba or showing up in running track, it is not secret that frequent exercise is important for heart health.

But should we need to think on which type of working out we should be doing to stay our tickers in tip-top shape?

US scientists have challenged long-held perceptions that aerobic workouts are best for healthy, happy hearts, after checking health records of greater than 4000 adults.

The research found static activities which includes weightlifting were better for decreasing the risk of heart disease than cardio exercises like running and cycling.

“Both muscle building and aerobic activity had been heart healthy, in the course of small amounts,” says Professor Maia Smith, of St George’s University in Grenada.

“However, static activity appeared more advantageous than dynamic, and patients who did both forms of physical activity fared considerably better than patients who simply increased the degree of one type of activity.”

But before you ditch your trainers –

Australian experts repeat the over-riding message is designed for people to get moving – no matter what – as inactive is known as a well-established risk factor for cardiovascular illnesses.

“I wouldn’t regard the difference between static and dynamic for being particularly meaningful,” says Dr Andrew Garnham, of Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition.

“More importantly, doing both styles of exercise multiplies the luxury, but anything done consistently is.”

Why is heart health important?

Heart disease is definitely the biggest killer around australia, claiming the lives of 18,590 Australians in 2019 – that’s an individual every 28 minutes.

The Heart Foundation says regular exercise reduces the potential for having a heart attack or developing heart attacks by to as much as 35 per-cent.

It can also help prevent heart risk factors like hypertension, high cholesterol and excess weight, and manage chronic conditions including some cancers, is usually and depression.

The foundation’s director of active living, Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton, says when your heart isn’t healthy, neither think you’re.

“The heart is central to the organ,” he says.

“It pumps blood to all or any parts of the body, supplying the oxygen and nourishment it must work properly.”

Exercises for your healthy heart

Not a great all natural athlete? Take heart.

Even taking regular strolls around your neighbourhood, or lifting the garden shears, could actually help lower the potential for heart attack and stroke.

A research review in the US found even one hour of walking or gardening each week was beneficial.

Prof Shilton says along with the Foundation recommends 150 minutes or over of moderate intensity or vigorous-intensity activity once a week, and muscle-strengthening activities no less than two days a week.

Free walking groups and a walking app are among foundation initiatives to support get people motivated.

Written by Elissa Doherty.