Aerobic exercise, such as running, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease events like heart attack or stroke; thus, it is commonly called “cardio” exercise. Weightlifting has been traditionally considered to improve sports performance in athletes. Yet, limited evidence exists to clarify whether weightlifting reduces heart attack or stroke risk, which represents major causes of death in the general population. In this study, the researchers investigated the possible relationship between resistance exercise with the risks of developing cardiovascular disease and premature death.
Preventive health exam records of 12,591 adults (average age 47) provided the data for this study. The study found even doing weightlifting exercises one time per week (or less than one hour/week) reduced the risk for a heart attack or stroke by 40-70 percent. This was true regardless of whether or not the subjects reported participating in aerobic exercise! This study fills an important knowledge gap about the benefits of weightlifting–supporting that it may reduce risk of heart attack or stroke, beyond the well-documented benefits of aerobic exercise