Healthy Heart Benefits from Strength Training
Weight training has many unique benefits to the heart and overall cardiac output. When people think of a healthy heart with flowing vessels, cardio is the first thing that comes to mind. Any form of aerobic cardio is amazing for the human heart and body, but weight training triggers a different response. According to Scott R. Collier, Ph.D., of Appalachian State University, "Resistance exercise may offer greater benefits from the increases in blood flow to active muscles and could be implemented as companion to an aerobic training regimen."
Resistance training forces greater blood flow to the muscles and limbs of the body compared to aerobic cardio. Resistance exercise produced greater increases in blood flow to the limbs-even though it also caused small increases in central arterial stiffness. In contrast, aerobic exercise produced an increase in arterial distensibility-that is decreased arterial stiffness-but without an increase in blood flow.
Post exercise, resistance training also has a longer lasting drop in blood pressure. Strength training increases blood flow while you’re exercising and recovering from that exercise, by helping you build lean muscle, it ultimately gives your cardiovascular system more places to put its blood, thereby reducing pressure on your arterial walls.
Strength training has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels just as much or more in studies compared to heavy aerobic activity. Think of it this way. The pump that you get to a muscle group in the gym when doing an exercise is BLOOD FLOW. Strength training gives massive amounts of blood flow to each muscle group forcing the heart to work harder, and vessels to expand. This strengthens the heart and cardiac output. People often associate the struggle to breathe or being winded during cardio with heart health but the correlation is minimal. The lung function is completely separate from cardiac output of the heart. Heart disease and heart problems are much greater of a risk for Americans compared to lung problems. Strength training is an absolute must.