Pumping Iron Prevents Heart Disease

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Metabolic Syndrome in Men

Millions of men suffer from metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health issues that raise risks. Risks of heart problems, like heart disease, diabetes and stroke. One in three Americans suffer from this serious condition. Risk factors include large waistline, high levels of triglycerides. (Triglycerides – a type of blood fat). Low levels of  high-density lipoprotein (“good cholesterol). High blood  pressure and high blood sugar.  Crash diets are not the answer. In fact, hitting the gym to build muscle is the best answer. New research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reveals that one hour of resistance training per week. Even without cardio, can cut risk of the metabolic syndrome.

The Study

muscle strength exercise

Strength resistance training to stay healthy

The Mayo Clinic study involved about 7,000 middle-aged adults, average age 46. Evaluated at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas between 1987 and 2006. While their exercise program was not supervised, subjects self reported compliance with Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines suggest that Americans, “Do muscle strengthening activities. Lifting weights or using resistance bands. At a moderate or high intensity involving all major muscle groups. Two or more days a week. Also, aerobic exercise in excess of 500 metabolic equivalent minutes per week.”

None of the participants in the Mayo Clinic study suffered from the metabolic syndrome when they enrolled. Fifteen percent developed metabolic syndrome during their follow up of four years. The study looked mostly at men. While 19 percent of the subjects were female.


The researchers found that any amount of resistance training meeting exercise guidelines associated 17 percent lower metabolic syndrome. Up to an hour weekly resistance exercise was associated 29 percent lower risk of development metabolic syndrome. Compared with no exercise.While larger amounts of resistance exercise did not provide further benefits. People who met both recommended resistance and aerobic exercise guidelines had a 25 percent lower risk of development of the metabolic syndrome. While compared with meeting neither guideline.

Furthermore, researchers concluded: “Health professionals should recommend patients perform resistance exercise along with aerobic exercise to reduce metabolic syndrome.”