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What do Doctor's recommend for the Best Heart Health?

 Which type of exercise endurance training vs. strength training best decreases the risk for coronary disease?

We've been taught to exercise daily through endurance training to best decreases the risk for coronary disease.   But when look at all the components of energy metabolism we see that strength training in fact is superior in decreasing the risk for coronary disease (McGuff & Little, 2009). 

When exercising at a low-intensity steady-state an individual is not able to achieve complete glucose depletion which results in a reduced ability of these muscles to store glucose.  Glucose storing capacity is reduced when glucose elimination is incomplete and leads to extra glucose in the bloodstream.  This extra glucose in the bloodstream will be diverted to fat cells which in turn increases the risk of developing coronary disease.  Endurance training such as running, for example, does not facilitate complete glucose depletion and thus decreases insulin sensitivity over a period of time which increases the runner’s probability of developing coronary disease.  Research conducted by Kozakova et al. (2013) “reported an association of insulin sensitivity with a risk of cardiovascular disease in young to middle-aged men” (p. 5).   

On the flip side, evidence has shown that effective strength training, not just casual barbell curls, but full body strength training that can deplete your glycogen stores, increases insulin receptor sites, improves cardiovascular heart health in individuals.   In a comparative study proper resistance training of sufficient magnitude is superior to circuit weight training, cycling, and other types of exercise in burning calories, lowering resting blood pressure, and improved overall heart health.

So the choice is clear, skip the walking and biking and ineffective weight lifting.  But select a program that can give you guided resistance training, and a safe way to increase strength without getting injured...for You and Your Heart Health! 



Kozakova, M., Natali, A., Dekker, J., Beck-Nielsen, H., Laakso, M., Nilsson, P., Balkau, B., & Ferrannini, E. (2013). Insulin Sensitivity and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology33(6), 1409–1417.

Mcguff, D., & Little, J. R. (2009). Body by Science: a research based program for strength training, body building, and complete fitness in 12 minutes a week. Mcgraw-Hill.

Wescott, W., “Exercise Speed and Strength Development,” American Fitness Quarterly 13(3), 20-21.

Westcott, W. L., Winett, R. A., Anderson, E. S., Wojcik, J. R., Loud, R. L., Cleggett, E., & Glover, S. (2001). Effects of regular and slow speed resistance training on muscle strength. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness41(2), 154–158.

K. Harris and R. Holy, “Physiological Response to Circuit Weight Training in Borderline Hypertensive Subjects,” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 10 (1987): 246-52

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