Joint Pain? No Time? Switch to Half Cardio, Half Strength Training for Heart Health and Longevity


Knee Troubles Keeping You from Long Runs? Tired of Monotonous Treadmill or Stationary Bike Workouts? Experts Suggest Incorporating Dumbbells or Squats Instead of Prolonged Running for Efficient Heart Protection and Time Savings.

Numerous studies have consistently shown the significant cardiovascular benefits of aerobic exercise, especially for individuals carrying excess weight. However, there is limited research comparing the effectiveness of aerobic exercise to other workout regimens.

The latest findings, published on January 17th in the European Heart Journal, reveal that combining aerobic and strength training (also known as resistance or weight training) is equally beneficial for heart health as solely engaging in aerobic exercises. Notably, exclusive strength training did not yield the same positive results.

In one of the longest and largest exercise trials to date, researchers from Iowa State University conducted a year-long randomized controlled exercise trial involving over 400 participants aged 35 to 70. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: "strength only" exercise, "aerobic only" exercise, "combined aerobic and strength" exercise, or no exercise at all.

All participants had their blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and body fat measured at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the trial.

Under the supervision of researchers, participants in the three exercise groups engaged in workouts three times a week for one hour each, consistently for one year. Results showed that combining aerobic and strength training effectively reduced the risk of cardiovascular diseases, with outcomes comparable to exclusive aerobic exercise.

"If you're tired of aerobic exercise, want to diversify your workouts, or struggle with joint pain that makes long-distance running challenging, our research suggests that you can substitute half of your aerobic exercise with strength training to achieve the same cardiovascular benefits," said lead author Dr. Lee Dzur, professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University. "Integrated exercise also offers additional health benefits, such as muscle enhancement."

"One of the most common reasons people avoid exercise is limited time," he suggested, emphasizing the feasibility of combining aerobic and strength training to optimize workout sessions.

Furthermore, adopting a "half aerobic, half strength" exercise routine can contribute to a longer and healthier life.

"The impact of exercise on lifespan is greater than any other variable," asserts Peter Attia, bestselling author of "Outlive: The Science and Art of Living Longer" and a renowned longevity scientist. While everyone has their preferred form of exercise, Attia believes that a combination of aerobic and strength training is most likely to positively impact longevity.

In his widely acclaimed book "Outlive," Attia shares his experiential guideline: devote half of your exercise time to strength training and the other half to aerobic exercise. Whether you exercise three to four hours per week or train vigorously for 20 hours weekly, evenly distributing this time between strength and aerobic training helps maintain optimal physical condition, strengthens crucial muscle groups, and guards against age-related injuries.


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