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Weightlifting for an Hour a Week Cuts Risk for Stroke and Heart Attack Up to 70 Percent

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

strength training

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  • Strength training is foundational for optimal health, especially as you get older. It’s not just about keeping your musculature strong; resistance training also benefits your heart, metabolism, cognition and mental health
  • Recent research shows less than an hour of strength training per week can reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke anywhere from 40 to 70 percent
  • These cardiovascular benefits were independent of aerobic exercises such as walking and running; strength training alone will lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, even if you don’t meet the recommended guidelines for aerobic activity
  • Less than one hour of resistance training per week also lowers your risk of metabolic syndrome by 29 percent and high cholesterol by 32 percent, independently of aerobic exercise
  • Strength training also benefits your brain. In fact, there’s a strong link between muscle strength — especially leg strength — and cognitive health

Strength training is foundational for good health, especially as you get older. Importantly, lifting weights is not just about keeping your musculature strong; it has a number of other health benefits that at first glance may seem unrelated, including improved metabolism, cognition and mental health.

Strength training is also important for heart health, and recent research shows less than an hour of strength training per week can reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke anywhere from 40 to 70 percent.


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