Resistance exercise such as weight training affects blood vessels differently than aerobic exercise and offers other cardiovascular benefits, finds a new study.
Researchers at the Appalachian State University in Boone, compared blood vessel (vascular) responses to two types of moderate-intensity workouts: three sets of 10 repetitions of eight resistance exercises and 30 minutes of aerobic cycling.
There were significant differences in the vascular responses to the two types of exercises. Resistance exercise produced greater increases in blood flow to the limbs, while aerobic exercise reduced arterial stiffness, but without an increase in blood flow.
Resistance exercise also led to a longer-lasting decrease in blood pressure after exercise, compared to aerobic exercise.
The benefits of resistance training
"Resistance exercise may offer greater benefits from the increases in blood flow to active muscles and could be implemented as a companion to an aerobic training programme," wrote study leader Scott R. Collier, of Appalachian State University.
They said their findings support previous research showing that resistance exercise has unique effects on blood pressure and limb blood flow.
"The present study indicates that an acute bout of resistance exercise shows many favourable cardiovascular benefits and should therefore be considered as part of a daily exercise training programme," the researchers concluded.
The study appears in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
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