Posted on Nov 18, 2018, 5 p.m.
St. George University scientists suggest that physical activities such as lifting weights is healthier for the heart than going for a run or walk.
Scientists analyzed health records to conclude that both forms of exercise reduce risks of developing heart disease, however static activities have greater effect than that of an equivalent amount of dynamic exercise.
Assumptions of cardiovascular activities such as running being of the greatest benefit to the heart are challenged by the findings of this study, which supports previous studies suggesting heavy static exercise provides a better workout to the circulatory system because the oxygen expenditure is more intense.
It is recommended that adults exercise at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity being comprised of a mixture of static and dynamic activity. Strength training and aerobic activity are good for heart health even in small amounts, but static activity appears to be more beneficial than dynamic, those who do both fare better than those who increase levels of one type of activity.
Cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol, being overweight, and high blood pressure were analyzed as function of self reported static and/or dynamic activity in 4,086 American adults who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Adjustments were made for gender, age, ethnicity, and smoking, then stratified by age to 12-44 years of age and over 45 years of age.
It was revealed that 25% of older adults and 36% of younger engaged in static activity; and 21% of older adults and 28% of younger engaged in dynamic activity. Either activity was found to be associated with 30-70% lower rates of cardiovascular disease risk factors, with the strongest being for static activity in youth.
Scientists hope this study will help clinicians to counsel older patients that this is popular among all age groups and they will fit into gym or road activities equally well; while providing the opportunity to show how important it is to ensure that they are engaging in some form of physical activity.
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