Pumping Iron Good for Heart

Do you want to lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and risk for heart disease? Then weight training is for you!

A report published in Circulation, the Journal of the American Heart Association, says lifting heavy objects increases blood pressure and heart rate, thereby improving heart function. Barry Franklin, a physiologist and director of cardiac rehabilitation at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich, and co-author of the American Heart Association advisory, says the AHA is recommending people perform weight training two to three times a week.

In another report, written by George A. Kelley of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., researchers found weight trainers not only reduced their blood pressure levels, they also lost body fat and gained lean muscle mass.

"Not only can weight training help stave off osteoporosis and build muscle and reduce fat, now we know that it can help lower blood pressure," Kelley says. "This is important because about 50 million Americans have high blood pressure and many of them don't even know it."

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, which is the number one killer of American men and women. Weight training is an important aspect of fitness for both men and women because it can help prevent osteoporosis, build lean muscle, reduce body fat, and now added to the list is reducing blood pressure.

Benefits of Weight Lifting

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