We all know about the many benefits of lifting weights - It strengthens your muscles and bones, changes your body composition for the better and keeps your metabolism going. However, If you need another reason to pick up those weights, there's an even greater benefit: It may actually keep your heart healthy.
In a recent study, scientists compared blood vessel response for aerobic exercise and strength training and found that lifting weights has a unique effect on blood pressure and blood flow to the limbs. It lowers blood pressure for up to 40 minutes after exercise and it increases blood flow to the active muscles in the limbs.
What's interesting about this is that we've spent time studying aerobic exercise and its heart-healthy benefits, but now we're seeing how important strength training is as well. Too often, we focus on cardio exercise because it burns the most calories but, as this study suggests, weight training is just as important and a great complement to your cardio workouts.
What do you think? Does this motivate you to lift weights or do you already have all the motivation you need? Leave a comment and tell us what you think about weight training.
Collier, SR, Diggle, MD, Heffernan, KS. Changes in Arterial Distensibility and Flow-Mediated Dilation After Acute Resistance vs. Aerobic Exercise. J Strength Cond Res 24(10): 2846-2852, 2010.