Here's Why Strength Training Is Just as Important as Cardio

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To most of us, when we hear "physical activity", we typically think of aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, and cycling.
Here's Why Strength Training Is Just as Important as Cardio

We often get bombarded with the message "regular physical activity is the key to good health and well-being".

But recent evidence suggests muscle-strengthening exercise is very beneficial to our health. In our study, published today, we argue muscle-strengthening exercise deserves to be considered just as important as aerobic exercise.

And the good news is strength training can be done by anyone, anywhere — and you don't need fancy equipment.

Strength is just as important as cardio

Muscle-strengthening exercise is also known as strength, weight or resistance training, or simply "lifting weights". It includes the use of weight machines, exercise bands, hand-held weights, or our own body weight (such as push-ups, sit-ups or planking). It's typically performed at fitness centres and gyms, but can also be done at home.

More than 30 years of clinical research has shown that muscle-strengthening exercise increases muscle mass, strength and bone mineral density. It improves our body's capacity to clear sugar and fat from the bloodstream, and improves our ability to perform everyday activities such as walking up stairs or getting in and out of a chair. It can also reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

In our research, we reviewed the evidence from several large studies and found muscle-strengthening exercise is associated with a reduced risk of early death, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Importantly, these health benefits remained evident even after accounting for aerobic exercise and other factors such as age, sex, education, income, body mass index, depression and high blood pressure.

Compared with aerobic exercise like jogging, clinical studies show that muscle-strengthening exercise has greater effects on age-related diseases such as sarcopenia (muscle wasting), cognitive decline and physical…
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