Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

One Strength Session Per Week Reduces Cardiovascular Disease Risk

November 13, 2018


Aerobic exercise has long been known to reduce an active individuals risk of chronic mental, emotional, and physical diseases. The majority of the publicity regarding the benefits of aerobic exercise has been related to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and premature death due to these diagnoses. Government and professional medical organizations recommend 120-150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. These minutes should be at least 10 minutes in duration to receive the cardiovascular benefits of exercise. Interesting new research on strength training is being conducted on the benefits of this mode of exercise on the prevention of chronic disease and premature death.

Authors in the journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise conducted an examination of the relationship of strength training, independent of aerobic exercise, and the development of cardiovascular disease (Liu et al. 2018). Authors included 12,591 participants who self reported their resistance training and disease status over a 16 year period. They reported a 40-70% disease risk reduction for all cardiovascular events with weekly resistance training frequencies of 1-3 sessions per week. No additional benefits were found with strength training frequencies of greater than 4 session per week. Interestingly, one session of up to 60 minutes of strength training was associated with decreased disease risk and early death independent of aerobic exercise participation. A patient’s body mass index (BMI) was found to significantly impact the impact of resistance training benefits.

This study supports the importance of strength training for cardiovascular health and wellness.