Which type of exercise may improve your cardiovascular risk?

In adults with overweight or obesity, aerobic exercise alone or a combined resistance plus aerobic exercise program leads to improvements in composite cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk profiles at one year, according to a study recently published in the European Heart Journal.

The study randomly assigned 406 adults (aged 35 to 70 years) with overweight or obesity and elevated blood pressure to

  1. resistance exercise (102 participants)
  2. aerobic exercise (101 participants)
  3. combined resistance plus aerobic exercise (101 participants)
  4. or a no-exercise control (102 participants)

Interventions lasted one hour, three times per week, for one year.

The researchers found that at one year, there were declines in the composite Z-score, indicating improved CVD risk profile, in the aerobic (mean difference, −0.15) and combination (mean difference, −0.16) groups. However, no improvement was seen in the resistance group (mean difference, −0.02).

Aerobic, resistance, or combined exercise training and cardiovascular risk profile in overweight or obese
adults: the CardioRACE trial
European Heart Journal
Published: 17 January 2024


Long-Term Physical Activity in Young Adults

Maintaining at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is essential for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

In a recent study including young adults, and after a median follow-up of 19 years, participants with a time in target range (TTR) of exercise of at least 75% had a 40% lower risk of cardiovascular events (HR: 0.60; 95% CI: 0.38 to 0.95) compared with the lowest TTR group (<25%).

In young adults, long-term compliance to the recommended volume of exercise may help lower the risk of cardiovascular events in later life.

Despite the busy workload, managing to maintain the guideline-recommended physical activity level for at least 75% of time across young adulthood is strongly advised.

European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Long-term Physical Activity Time-in-Target Range in Young Adults with Cardiovascular Events in Later Life
Eur J Prev Cardiol 2023 Dec 20;[EPub Ahead of Print], Z Huang, R Huang, X Xu, Z Fan, Z Xiong, Q Liang, Y Guo, X
Liao, X Zhuang


Health benefits derived from resistance training

The skeletal muscle is the largest organ in the body. They produce various cytokines that communicate with other organ systems and contribute to multiple health benefits.

It is recommended that adults should engage in resistance exercise and muscle strengthening at least two times per week.

Individuals who participate in regular resistance training sessions have a 15% lower risk of total mortality and a 17% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease. Resistance training reduces systolic blood pressure in adults over 40 years of age by 3 to 4 mm Hg. It reduces glucose levels by 2 to 5 mg/dL and lowers the incidence of diabetes by 17%. Resistance training programs improve HDL-C levels by 2 to 12 mg/dL and reduce the levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides by 7 to 13 mg/dL and 8 mg/dL, respectively.

The magnitude of these benefits may be underestimated and may not be reflective of life-long resistance training because few studies lasted more than 6 months.

Paluch AE, Boyer WR, Franklin BA, et al. Resistance Exercise Training in Individuals With and Without
Cardiovascular Disease: 2023 Update: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.
Circulation. 2023 Dec 7. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001189. Online ahead of print.


Morning exercise appears to be beneficial for weight management

It is highly debated which is the ideal time of day for someone to engage in physical exercise. According to a recent publication, which investigated the data retrieved from 5285 individuals, exercise in the morning succeeds better management of weight as well as reduced waist circumference.

According to the researchers, the adjusted means for body mass index were 25.9 kg/m² in the morning group, 27.6 kg/m² in the midday group, and 27.2 kg/m² in the evening group. For waist circumference, the respective measurements for the three groups were 91.5, 95.8, and 95.0 cm, respectively.

The diurnal pattern of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and obesity: a cross-sectional analysis:


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It is impossible for one to know medicine if he doesn’t know what a human being is. HIPPOCRATES

Copyright by Dr Yiannis Panayiotides 2018. All rights reserved.

Copyright by Dr Yiannis Panayiotides 2018. All rights reserved.