A new study led in Copenhagen shows proof that weightlifting may prevent heart disease better than cardio. According to the paper, both forms of exercising offer significant health benefits, like reducing heart fat, but resistance training might actually reduce a type of fat that has been linked to heart diseases at a faster rate, the so-called pericardial fat tissue.
The researchers found that weightlifters have less pericardial adipose tissue than people who choose cardio exercising. However, both types of exercise can reduce epicardial adipose mass. These two types of fat tissue can both lead to severe cardiovascular health issues.
A healthy diet and a good exercise plan can prevent atherosclerosis, which is the accumulation of fat in your arteries. Cardiovascular disease is caused by the accumulation of fatty plaques in arteries (atherosclerosis), something which can be prevented by increasing physical exercise and following a healthy diet.
Weightlifting Is Better Than Cardio At Protecting Against Heart Diseases
According to statistics from the World Health Organization, heart disease kills one in three people every day all around the world, which equates to 17.9 million per year.
During the study, the team of researchers analyzed the health status of 32 obese people that did not have any type of heart diseases or diabetes. Each person underwent an MRI scan at the beginning and at the end of the study to keep track of their epicardial and pericardial adipose tissue mass. The group was divided into three subgroups: one that did not exercise, one that endurance training, and one that did resistance training.
At the end of the study, the active groups were compared to the control group. Epicardial fat tissue was reduced in the group that did cardio by 32% and by 24% in the weightlifting group. On the other hand, pericardial tissue was decreased only in the weight training group, by 31%.
The researchers stated: “We did not combine resistance and endurance training, which would have been interesting to reveal their potential additive effects. We speculate that participants doing resistance training burn more calories during the day – also in inactive periods-compared to those engaged in endurance training.”