By Hugh Finlay
Scientists have discovered that people doing even a little strength training a week significantly reduces their risk of heart disease. A study done on middle aged people showed that strength training reduced their risk of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is deduced from a list of risk factors, such as: high blood sugar, high blood pressure, or overweight. Metabolic syndrome indicates an increased likelihood of getting diabetes or heart disease.
The subjects of the study who did an hour of strength training, also known as resistance exercise, per week, reduced their chances of getting metabolic syndrome by a third, compared with a control group of people who did no strength training. Over 7,000 people took part in the study at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas. The people in the study were in their mid 30s to mid 50s. The study showed that it made no difference when they did the strength training, at one particular time in the week, or spread over the week. The study also showed that those who did aerobic exercise, as well as strength training, reduced their chances of getting metabolic syndrome even more than those who did only strength training.
The author of the study, Esmee Bakker, from Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen in the Netherlands, said "You already get health benefits with even a low amount of resistance exercise per week, which is good for people with a very busy lifestyle".
Previous scientific studies had shown the beneficial effects of aerobic exercise on reducing metabolic syndrome. Now strength training must be added to the list.
Paul Thompson from the University of Connecticut, Hartford said "We can talk about the right dose and intensity, but it's clear that in most studies, doing something is better than doing nothing. Most People do nothing, and the key is to get them to do anything. The increasing American girth has increased metabolic syndrome, which leads to insulin resistance and makes it harder for insulin to work."
35% of adults in the US have metabolic syndrome. The US government's Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that people do some strength training, along with at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise, per week.