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Does Strength-Training Help Your Heart?

Does Strength-Training Help Your Heart?

Lifting weights does more than build strong bones. Strength training can also contribute to heart health by building lean muscle mass, which helps to burn extra calories, keep blood sugar in check and improve cholesterol levels.

Strength training, especially for older adults, can also make it easier to perform everyday activities such as lifting a bag of groceries. Resistance exercises are also important for bone health and can help prevent osteoporosis.

Many fitness centers offer low impact strength-training classes. But if you can’t get to a gym and feel uncomfortable working with weights at home, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests trying some of the following activities to build strength:

  • Working with resistance bands, weight machines or hand-held weights
  • Doing push ups, sit ups and other body weight resistance exercises
  • Heavy gardening (digging, lifting and carrying)
  • Yoga or Pilates
  • Tai Chi

The American Heart Association® recommends performing 8 to 10 resistance exercises two days a week. Look for exercises that use all the major muscle groups – legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms. Try to do each exercise to the point of muscle fatigue but stop immediately if you feel any pain.

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By participating in this quiz, or screening or health assessment, I recognize and accept all risks associated with it. I understand that the program will only screen for certain risk factors and does not constitute a complete physical exam. For the diagnosis of a medical problem, I must see a physician for a complete medical exam. I release Deborah Heart and Lung Center and any other organization(s) involved in this screening, and their employees and agents, from all liabilities, medical claims or expenses which may arise from my participation. Thank you for investing in your health by participating today.