A new study announced on tuesday supports hitting your gym's weight room, finding that people who pump iron are less likely to have risk factors linked to heart disease and diabetes.
Researchers from Brooks College of Health, University of North Florida analyzed data from the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), an ongoing study of health risks in the US. The team found that from a pool of 5,618 subjects, 8.8 percent answered yes to questions about lifting weights, with men twice as likely to lift weights as women. Also younger people lifted weights more than people aged 50 years or older.
Researchers then measured for metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes such as large waist circumference, high triglyceride levels, reduced levels of HDL or good cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and high glucose levels.
Lifting weights was linked with a 37 percent reduction in the odds of metabolic syndrome, the researchers stated. "Exercise professionals should strongly encourage the activity of lifting weights among adults of all ages to promote metabolic health," stated researchers Peter M. Magyari and James R. Churilla in a release. Their findings were published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
In a separate study published this month, researchers from Bispebjerg University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, found that taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day can cut your risks for heart disease and diabetes. Those findings appear online in BMJ Open.