Here's How Often You Should Lift Weights To Keep Your Heart Healthy | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Here’s How Often You Should Lift Weights To Keep Your Heart Healthy

By now, you’re probably sick of us waxing lyrical about all the benefits of weightlifting. Not only does pumping iron make you feel good (cheers, endorphins!) and look good (cheers, chest day!), it’s an easy way to improve your heart health, too. In fact, according to a new study from Iowa State University, less than an hour of resistance training a week is all it takes to reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke by 40-70 per cent.

Researchers combed through the data of 13,000 adults to establish the occurrence of ‘cardiovascular events’ – a term used by medical professionals that described the cause of any heart damage, e.g. heart attack or stroke.

They found that weight training reduced the likelihood of a person suffering a cardiovascular event, dying from a cardiovascular event or from any cause at all – even if they did no other exercise. 

The most interesting takeaway? You don’t have to lift for hours on end to reap the benefits.

“People may think they need to spend a lot of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than five minutes could be effective,” DC Lee, associate professor of kinesiology, told ScienceDaily.

RELATED: Clear Your Mind With 20 Minutes Of Pure Cardio


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The researchers went on to investigate the relationship between weight-lifting, high-cholesterol and diabetes (again, independent of other forms of exercise). Their findings? Less than 60 minutes a week of resistance training was associated with a 29 per cent lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome (aka, the cluster of conditions that pre-empt heart disease, stroke and diabetes.) Plus, the risk of high cholesterol dropped by 32 per cent.

“Building muscle helps move your joints and bones, but also there are metabolic benefits,” Lee added. “If you build muscle, even if you’re not aerobically active, you burn more energy.”

As if you needed another reason to hit up the gym this week. 

RELATED: 5 Lifting Rules You Should Break If You Want To Get Big

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