HealthDay News — Less than an hour a week of resistance exercise (RE) is associated with decreased risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related events and all-cause mortality, independent of aerobic exercise, according to a study recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Yanghui Liu, from East China Normal University in Shanghai, and colleagues assessed RE and its associations with CVD and mortality among 12,591 participants (mean age, 47 years) who received at least two clinical examinations between 1987 and 2006. A self-reported medical history questionnaire was used to gauge RE.

The researchers found that weekly RE frequencies of one, two, and three times or a total of one to 59 minutes was associated with approximately a 40 to 70 percent decreased risk for total CVD events, independent of aerobic exercise, compared with no RE. 

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For weekly RE of more than four times or ≥60 minutes, there was no further significant risk reduction. Similar results were seen for CVD morbidity and all-cause mortality. A mediation analysis showed that RE had a direct U-shape association with CVD risk and that RE may indirectly lower CVD risk by decreasing body mass index.

“People may think they need to spend a lot of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than five minutes could be effective,” a coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to Coca-Cola.

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