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Most cardiovascular health interventions emphasize aerobic exercise, which challenges the heart, lowering blood pressure and increasing cardiac output. However, a recent study found that a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training provides similar cardiovascular benefits to those of aerobic exercise alone.

Researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial involving 406 adults with overweight or obesity and elevated blood pressure. They randomly assigned participants to one of four exercise intervention groups: aerobic only, resistance only, a combination of aerobic and resistance, or no exercise. Participants exercised for one hour daily, three times weekly, for one year.

The researchers found that the participants in the aerobic-only and aerobic and resistance combination groups benefited equally from the one-year intervention, with both groups showing nearly identical improvements in risk profiles. The resistance-only and no-exercise groups did not improve.

These findings suggest that aerobic exercise alone or combined aerobic plus resistance exercise reduces cardiovascular disease risk in adults with overweight or obesity. Interestingly, resistance exercise can have aerobic effects. Learn more in this clip featuring Dr. Martin Gibala.

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